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Second half struggles cost West Virginia in loss at Syracuse

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Brandon Triche had 20 points, Kris Joseph added 16 and No. 17 Syracuse rallied late to beat West Virginia 63-52 on Monday night to snap a three-game losing streak at home. Casey Mitchell finished with 23 points for the Mountaineers.

Orange 63 - Mountaineers 52
Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY

Casey Mitchell re-discovered his shooting stroke while scoring 23 points and establishing a new career high in 3-pointers made, but John Flowers was the only other Mountaineer to score in the double-digits as Syracuse downed WVU 63-52 at the Carrier Dome Monday night. Brandon Triche scored 20 points, Kris Joseph contributed 16 and Rick Jackson just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds for the Orange (21-6, 8-6), who avoided losing four straight home games for the first time since 1962-63.

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim picked up his 850th career win, joining Bob Knight, Mike Krzyzewski, Dean Smith and Adolph Rupp as the only other Division I coaches to achieve the feat.

WVU entered half-time up 30-26. But they relinquished the lead, 38-35, early in the second half after 3-pointers from Triche and Jardine. While the Mountaineers crept within two points after a Kevin Jones jumper made it 51-49 with 8:28 left to play, the Orange crushed WVU's hopes of victory with a 12-3 run to close out the game.

Mitchell drilled seven shots in 12 attempts from beyond the arc. Flowers also hit a pair of treys in four shots from deep for the Mountaineers (16-9, 7-6), who went 11-of-22 from 3-point range. WVU, knocked out of the top 25 on Monday, entered play against Syracuse ranked 12th in the Big East and 271st nationally in 3-point shooting percentage.

Flowers finished with 10 points, but the rest of the Mountaineers clanked shots all night long. Deniz Kilicli was 1-of-7 from the field, Truck Bryant hit one basket in six tries and Jones shot 2-of-8. WVU's third-highest scorer was Bryant, with a paltry six points. Overall, the Mountaineers shot 36.2 percent, compared to 46 percent for the Orange.

No. 17 Syracuse harassed WVU on defense, forcing 13 steals and getting 19 fast break points. Scoop Jardine picked the Mountaineers' pockets five times while C.J. Fair, Jackson and Joseph had two steals apiece. WVU, meanwhile, didn't get a fast-break basket.

TEAM STATS
FG%: WVU 36.2, SYR 46.0
FT%: WVU 58.3, SYR 68.4
3-PT: WVU 50.0, SYR 30.8
RBS: WVU 28, SYR 35

LEADERS
Scoring: WVU- Mitchell 23; SYR- Triche 20
Rebounds: WVU- Kilicli 6; SYR- Jackson 9
Assists: WVU- Mazzulla 7; SYR- Jardine 6
Blocks: WVU- Flowers, Kilicli 1; SYR- Jackson 2
Steals: WVU- Mitchell 2; SYR- Jardine 5

NEXT UP
The Mountaineers face yet another Big East powerhouse on Saturday, returning to the Coliseum to take on No. 8 Notre Dame. The 21-4 Fighting Irish, led by seniors Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis, are on a seven-game win streak. Syracuse hosts Rutgers Saturday at the Carrier Dome.

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