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No. 6 Syracuse beats Princeton 73-53

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JOHN KEKIS | November 21, 2012 09:01 PM EST | AP

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. — James Southerland scored a career-high 22 points and nabbed five steals, Michael Carter-Williams added 10 points and nine assists, and No. 6 Syracuse beat Princeton 73-53 on Wednesday night.

Syracuse (3-0) won its 24th straight game in the Carrier Dome and boosted its record to 31-0 against the Ivy League in the Dome. The Orange also has won 35 in a row at home against nonconference foes and six in a row in the series with Princeton (1-3), which lost its third straight.

C.J. Fair had 12 points and Brandon Triche and Rakeem Christmas each had 10 as Christmas matched his career high.

Clay Wilson led Princeton with 15 points, Brandon Connolly had 11, and Ian Hummer had 10.

Syracuse had 19 steals, three off the school record, as the Orange forced the Tigers into 24 turnovers.

Syracuse gained a double-digit lead in the first 10 minutes, but both teams struggled early. After a stretch of nearly 4 minutes without a point being scored, Triche converted a pair of free throws and Southerland swished a 3 from the top of the key to give Syracuse a 20-8 lead with 9:56 left.

Princeton's motion offense found few openings in Syracuse's 2-3 zone as the Tigers committed 14 turnovers in the opening half that the Orange converted into 15 points.

A nifty pass from Hummer to Connolly for an easy layup off the glass was the kind of play the Tigers thrive on, but Southerland answered with a 3-pointer from the left wing for a 28-14 lead.

The level of frustration heightened on Princeton's next trip down the floor. Set up in the same place as Connolly only seconds earlier, Denton Koon hurried a shot along the baseline and it caromed off the side of the backboard to the Orange.

Syracuse stretched its lead to 35-19 on Southerland's high, arcing 3 from the right corner with 2:50 left, but Wilson hit a 3 and T.J. Bray hit another at the buzzer to pull Princeton within 36-25 at the half.

Not bad considering Syracuse had 12 steals and a 14-4 edge in second-chance points and that Hummer, the Tigers' leading scorer at nearly 16 points a game, only attempted three shots.

Princeton surged to within 45-39 on Wilson's 3 off an inbounds pass with 13:42 left, but the Orange responded with an 8-0 spurt.

Triche set up Christmas for a dunk and followed with a driving layup. Carter-Williams then fed Baye Moussa Keita for another layup and Fair's follow made it 53-39 at 11:05.

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