In 34 years of Big East play, Syracuse never started 10-0 in the conference. In 1 year of ACC play, the Orange have now already done it once. Tonight’s 57-44 victory over Clemson extends SU’s best ever start to 23-0 overall and 10-0 in the ACC, heading into a huge test on Wednesday at Pittsburgh. The 23 straight wins also tie the school record for consecutive victories at any point in a season.
With Baye Keita hurt and Rakeem Christmas in foul trouble, Jerami Grant mans the middle of the 2-3 zone for extended periods of time, but the Orange still play typically stout defense, holding the Tigers to 44 points on 34 percent shooting. And offensively C.J. Fair does the heavy lifting, scoring 19 points to go with 7 rebounds. Trevor Cooney stays hot from 3-point range, knocking down 3 of 7 attempts on his way to 11 points, and Grant gives SU a third player in double figures with 12. As usual, K.J. McDaniels is the lone bright spot for Clemson, accounting for 19 of the team’s 44 points.
Wednesday night’s showdown with Pitt tips off at 7 o’clock from the Petersen Events Center and can be seen on ESPN. The Orange beat the Panthers 59-54 at the Carrier Dome on January 18.