Bucknell has played on the grand stage of the NCAA Tournament more than once in the past 6 years and owns postseason victories over Kansas and Arkansas. So even facing the top-ranked team in the nation shouldn't have fazed the Bison.
Coach Dave Paulsen thought otherwise after Bucknell missed too many open shots in a first half that quickly slipped away in an 80-61 loss at No. 1 Syracuse.
"I thought our team in the first half came in in awe of them," Paulsen said. "We have tremendous respect for Syracuse and their ability and their talent, but we'd like to think that we would not come in in awe. We had some decent looks and couldn't knock them down."
Kris Joseph had 17 points and Scoop Jardine added 14 as the Orange had 10 steals and seven blocks in a workmanlike performance. Freshman Rakeem Christmas was the only other player in double figures with a season-high 10.
The Orange (12-0), who retained the No. 1 ranking for the second straight week, won their 30th straight nonconference home game.
It was only the second time Bucknell (7-5) has played the No. 1 team in the nation. The Bison lost to Duke, 84-50, on Jan. 2, 2006.
Bucknell entered the game 1-8 against Syracuse, but that lone win, a 74-69 triumph over the 17th-ranked Orange, came in the Bison's last visit to the Carrier Dome in November 2005.
In other games *
At Ohio State, Jared Sullinger bounced back from his latest injury to score 18 points and grab 11 rebounds and Deshaun Thomas added 16 points to lead the No. 2 Buckeyes (11-1) past Lamar, 70-50.
* At Kentucky, Doron Lamb scored 26 points to lead the No. 3 Wildcats (10-1) in an 82-50 rout over Samford to extend their home winning streak to 41 games. Kentucky forward Terrence Jones missed the first game in his collegiate career after dislocating his left pinkie Saturday.
* At Louisville, Kyle Kuric's 17 points led the No. 4 Cardinals (11-0) over College of Charleston, 69-62.
* At Pittsburgh, J.J. Moore scored 15 points as the Panthers (11-1) beat St. Francis (Pa.), 71-47, for their ninth straight win.
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton says forward Terrance Shannon will have shoulder surgery and will miss the rest of the season. Shannon hurt his left shoulder during a loss to Connecticut on Nov. 26.
* Miami Hurricanes basketball player DeQuan Jones received approval to return to competition after he sat out the season's first 10 games because of an NCAA investigation into recruiting allegations.
Jones was implicated in a scandal that became public in August. While most of the allegations involved the football program, Yahoo Sports reported an ex-booster said he provided $10,000 cash to Miami basketball coaches to recruit Jones.