Feb 3, 2014, 9:28 PM EDT
After an emotional win over Duke on Saturday, you couldn’t really blame No. 1 Syracuse if they came out a bit flat during its Monday ACC clash with Notre Dame at the Carrier Dome.
Despite C.J. Fair (six points) playing his worst game of the season — and the Orange’s offense struggling to find consistency — Syracuse (22-0, 9-0) held off the Irish (12-11, 3-7) and remained undefeated with a 61-55 win thanks to a career night from sophomore guard Trevor Cooney.
Cooney tied a Syracuse record with nine three-pointers on his way to 33 points and the Orange’s defense held tight and got stops when they needed it as that was good enough for a hard-fought ACC win.
Syracuse’s offense looked inconsistent for much of the game, but the Orange’s defense held Notre Dame to 18 first-half points and the Irish could never get over the hump despite trailing by single digits for most of the second half. Notre Dame cut the Syracuse deficit to three points with under six minutes remaining, but that was as close as the Irish would get.
Although Cooney shot a ridiculous 9-for-12 from beyond the arc, Fair (2-for-13 shooting) and the rest of the Syracuse offense struggled to shoot for much of the game. Tyler Ennis (six points) also failed to get going as a scorer, but dished out eight assists as Syracuse had 16 assists on 21 field goals.
Cooney’s nine three-pointers in a game ties him with Gerry McNamara, Andy Rautins and James Southerland for the Syracuse record. Not a bad effort for Cooney after struggling to find his shot for much of ACC play.
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