SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Brandon Triche scored 18 points, Kris Joseph added 11 in the final home game of his career, and second-ranked Syracuse beat No. 19 Louisville 58-49 on Saturday.
Syracuse (30-1, 17-1 Big East) set a conference record for victories — no Big East team had accumulated 17 in the regular season — and the Orange also finished the regular season with 30 wins for the first time in coach Jim Boeheim’s 36-year tenure.
The Orange capped only their second unbeaten season in the Carrier Dome, going 19-0. The only other Syracuse team to go undefeated in the dome was the national championship squad of 2002-03 led by Carmelo Anthony, which finished 17-0.
Dion Waiters had 13 points for Syracuse, which held the Cardinals to 2-of-23 shooting from 3-point range and a season low in points.
Chane Behanan and Russ Smith led Louisville (22-9, 10-8) with 10 points apiece, while Gorgui Dieng finished with six on 3-of-13 shooting.
It was the Orange’s second straight victory over Louisville after they snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Cardinals with a 52-51 victory at the KFC Yum! Center on Feb. 13, scoring the game’s final six points. That game was a defensive struggle as both teams shot just under 35 percent, with the Orange going 1 of 15 from long range.
This one was more of the same at the outset before Syracuse came alive midway through the opening half. After falling behind 15-9 when Fab Melo was called for goaltending against Behanan with 11:44 to go in the half, the Orange clamped down on defense and didn’t allow another basket until Smith’s layup with 1:33 to go before the break.
Waiters scored six points to key a 12-0 spurt by the Orange, his spinning layup through the lane eliciting a huge roar from the crowd of 33,205, the fifth-largest in the history of the Carrier Dome. Melo’s block on Dieng then sent Triche in for a fast-break layup, and two free throws by James Southerland gave Syracuse a 26-16 lead with 4:00 to go.
Louisville lost at home to South Florida, 58-51 on Wednesday night, managing a season-low 17 points in the first half, and the Cardinals trailed 26-19 at the break in this one. They were 1 of 11 from beyond the arc in the first half as both teams shot 8 of 25 from the floor.
Triche, who hadn’t reached double figures in the past seven games, scored the first eight points of the second half to boost the lead to 15. He hit a 3 from the right side to open the period and followed his own miss on a lob, forcing the Cardinals to call a timeout as the game slipped away. Triche then swished another 3, this one from the left corner after a pretty passing play with Melo, Joseph and Jardine.
Consecutive baskets by Smith stopped the surge, but only briefly. Two layups by C.J. Fair, Joseph’s 3, and a steal and layup by Waiters boosted the lead to 45-27 with 13:00 left.
The Cardinals had a late charge in them, though. Kyle Kuric converted a layup and a 3 from the left corner, his first baskets of the game, and Peyton Siva’s layup moved Louisville within 50-40 as Syracuse went nearly 6 minutes without a point.
Louisville shot 21 of 62 (33.9 percent), while the Orange were 19 of 45 (42.2 percent), hitting 8 of 21 from beyond the arc.
Joseph, Scoop Jardine, who failed to score in his final home game, and reserves Brandon Reese, Nick Resavy and Matt Tomaszewski were honored in the pre-game ceremony on Senior Day.