NCAA top 25 basketball roundup
No. 9 Syracuse 63, No. 25 Notre Dame 47
C.J. Fair had 18 points and 10 rebounds, freshman Jerami Grant scored a season-high 14 points, and Syracuse beat Notre Dame Monday night to snap a two-game losing streak that had dropped the Orange three spots in the rankings.
Syracuse (19-3, 7-2 Big East) was coming off consecutive road losses against Villanova and Pittsburgh and has only three conference losses in its last 32 Big East games. The Orange have now won a school-record 36 straight games at home, the longest active streak in Division I. Notre Dame (18-5, 6-4) had won three straight.
It was the first meeting between the teams since the Irish handed Syracuse its only conference loss last season, 67-58 at Purcell Pavilion last January. The Orange, unbeaten at the time and ranked No. 1, were missing shot-blocking, 7-foot center Fab Melo in that game because of an academic issue, and on Monday night senior James Southerland, the team's most consistent outside threat and third-leading scorer, missed his sixth straight game because of an eligibility matter related to academics. Southerland had 15 points in the loss to the Irish last year.
On this night, it didn't matter as the Syracuse defense clamped down. Notre Dame finished 6 of 20 on 3-pointers and shot 34.6 percent (18 of 52) for the game as the Orange outrebounded the Irish 32-28 and blocked seven shots. It matched the season low for points for the Irish, who were held to 47 in a home loss two weeks ago to Georgetown.
Rakeem Christmas had 12 points and four blocks and Michael Carter-Williams had five points, eight assists and three steals for Syracuse.
Jerian Grant, Jerami's brother, finished with 15 points and Jack Cooley had 10 points and 11 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the season for the Irish. The game was the first in college between the Grant brothers.
No. 8 Penn St. 69, No. 13 Purdue 61
Maggie Lucas scored 17 points, and Penn State withstood a second-half rally by Purdue with defense to reclaim sole possession of first place in the Big Ten with a victory.
After struggling in the first half, 6-foot-4 center Nikki Greene (six points, nine rebounds) gave the Lady Lions (18-3, 8-1) an interior presence in the game's final 6:39, when Penn State finished off the Boilermakers (18-4, 7-2) with a 12-6 run.
Purdue had narrowed a 12-point deficit to 57-55 before going the next five-plus minutes without a field goal.
Lucas and backcourt mate Alex Bentley (13 points) took advantage in a chippy game to get the lead back to double digits in the final minutes. Courtney Moses (21 points) scored six points in a 13-second span to get within 67-61 with 1:05 left, but Bentley helped Penn State hold on with a bucket and steal.
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