Scores

Final

(7) Syracuse 85

(9-0, 1-0 away)

(10) Florida 73

(8-1, 5-0 home)

9:00 PM ET, December 10, 2009

Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida

1 2 T
#7SYR 42 4385
#10FLA 36 3773

Top Performers

Syracuse: R. Jackson 21 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

Florida: C. Parsons 19 Pts, 4 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

Jackson has 21 points, 11 rebounds as Syracuse remains unbeaten

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- California, North Carolina and now Florida.

It doesn't matter which ranked team Syracuse plays, the Orange (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) seem to have all the answers during an impressive run to start the season.

"With all the problems you can have in the world, we don't have a lot right now," coach Jim Boeheim said Thursday night after Syracuse remained unbeaten with an 85-73 victory over Florida (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) in the SEC/Big East Invitational.

"We'll probably encounter some problems," Boeheim added. "But right now, we don't have a lot."

Fast Facts

• Rick Jackson scored a career-high 21 points and became the sixth different player to lead the Orange in scoring in nine games this season.

• Syracuse is 3-0 against ranked teams this season with all three wins coming by at least 12 points.

• Billy Donovan, coaching his 500th career game, fell to 15-8 at Florida against the Big East, the conference in which he played (Providence).

• Florida allowed a season high in points and suffered its first loss of the season despite making 12 3-pointers for the second straight game.

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Rick Jackson scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Andy Rautins had 18 points and Wes Johnson finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for Syracuse (9-0) in its ninth double-digit victory.

The Orange beat Cal by 22 points, defeated defending national champion North Carolina by 16 and pulled away in the closing minutes against a Florida team that looks like it is capable of making some noise in the Southeastern Conference this season.

Reserve Kris Joseph contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds against the previously unbeaten Gators (8-1).

"I think these early games like this, when you play really good teams, the things you don't do well in a particular game generally get really, really exposed," Florida coach Billy Donovan said. "Some things that I think came out to light, transition defense, rebounding."

Syracuse led most of the game, but the Gators stayed close by making 12 3-pointers in 30 attempts.

Kenny Boynton made five 3s and led the Gators with 20 points and seven assists. Chandler Parsons scored 19 and Erving Walker added 14.

"Just based on what I've seen with Syracuse, they are capable of winning a national championship," Donovan said.

"I haven't seen everybody play, but I would be hard pressed to say that there's three or four teams better than them. I think they have everything. They've got a low post presence. They rebound. They shoot the 3. They're an unselfish team. They can turn you over. They can beat you in a lot of different ways."

Neither team was ranked when the season began, but both quickly worked their way up the rankings.

Syracuse thumped Cal and North Carolina in the Coaches vs. Cancer at Madison Square Garden to serve notice that the Orange might be better than anticipated. Florida raised eyebrows by knocking off Florida State and upsetting Michigan State on the way to just the third 8-0 start in school history.

Jackson had 16 points and, just as important, seven offensive rebounds in the first half. The 6-foot-9 junior only took one shot after halftime, finishing 8 of 12 while Johnson and Rautins asserted themselves offensively.

Johnson scored 13 second-half points and Rautins made a 3-pointer that helped the Orange pull away for good after Florida had wiped out a 10-point deficit.

"When we needed to make plays, when they came back at us, we made those big plays and got some space," Boeheim said. "But this is a tough team for us to play against."

The Orange twice built leads of 10 points, only have Florida battle back. The Gators made five 3-pointers in a 15-3 burst that turned a 54-44 deficit into a 59-57 lead. Walker made three in a row during the run, and Boynton and Parsons had one each.

The Orange regrouped, with Rautins and Johnson making 3-pointers to began a 16-4 surge that restored the double-digit lead at 73-63. Boynton hit another long 3 to try to spark another rally, but the closest the Gators would get down the stretch was 73-69 on two free throws by Parsons with 3:24 to go.

Syracuse closed the game on a 12-4 run. The 12-point margin of victory was the smallest for the Orange this season. The previous low was an 88-73 win over Cornell.

"We knew we had a challenge in New York with Cal and North Carolina," Boeheim said. "We knew it would be a challenge coming down here. ... This was a tremendous win, given the way they've played."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SYR
FLA
Points 85 73
FG Made-Attempted 32-61 (.525) 27-62 (.435)
3P Made-Attempted 3-13 (.231) 12-30 (.400)
FT Made-Attempted 18-31 (.581) 7-13 (.538)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 12 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
Largest Lead 12 3

2009-10 Season

DATEGAMELINKS
» Dec 10, 2009 SYR 85, @FLA 73Recap