SYRACUSE, N.Y. - In this case, Drexel men's basketball coach Bruiser Flint hated being right.
Flint warned the Dragons before last night's game against Syracuse that they were going to get the Orange's best effort. They did - and then some.
No. 5 Syracuse shot 63.6 percent from the field, including 71.9 percent in the second half, and coasted to a 93-65 victory over the Dragons (8-2) before 17,856 fans at the Carrier Dome. Big East Conference powerhouse Syracuse improved to 13-0 as it snapped Drexel's six-game winning streak.
The Dragons' 52-46 win over Big East member and then-No. 20 Louisville on Dec. 14 surely got Syracuse's attention, particularly since the Cardinals handed the Orange two of its five losses last season. And the last time Drexel visited the Carrier Dome in December 2006, the Dragons dealt SU an 84-79 loss - a defeat that played a big part in Syracuse's NCAA Tournament snub that spring.
"I knew the [Syracuse] coaches were going to remember the last time we were here,'' Flint said. "We beat a team in their league that was ranked last week. I said, 'You guys better come ready to play because we're going to get their best here,' and we really got their best here.''
Philadelphians Scoop Jardine and Rick Jackson, both products of Neumann-Goretti, led the Orange. Jardine scored 21 points on 9-for-10 shooting and had five assists, and Jackson notched his ninth double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Jardine and Jackson reminded teammates that they'd be going home for the holidays, and they didn't want to go home after a loss to a Philadelphia school.
"It always feels good to get the win, but this is especially good with the break coming up,'' Jackson said. "It's great to go home with some bragging rights.''
Syracuse's Kris Joseph scored a career-high 25 points to lead all scorers. Gerald Colds paced Drexel with 16 points, and Chris Fouch added 14. The Dragons' Samme Givens fouled out with 4 minutes, 20 seconds remaining after scoring eight points on 2-for-10 shooting and grabbing a team-high eight rebounds.
Syracuse, after missing six of its first seven shots, sank 27 of its next 35, including 18 of its first 20 in the second half.
"I don't think we can play better offensively than that,'' Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "Everybody was good on offense tonight.''
Flint said the Orange spread out the Dragons' man-to-man defense and used the space to drive to the basket for several easy buckets. Drexel did a horrendous job of help defense and switching on screens.
"We played on our heels,'' Flint said. "We missed foul shots, and we missed easy plays when we had them early in the game. Once they got going at the end of the first half, that was it.''
Colds' second 3-pointer in the first 7 minutes of the game gave the Dragons their last lead, 10-8. But Drexel managed just one field goal for the next 7:15 while the Orange went on a 15-2 tear.
"It wasn't too many complicated plays they were running, but when they got shots they weren't missing them,'' Colds said.
Six different Syracuse players scored during that 15-2 spurt. With Jardine, Jackson and Joseph leading the way, Syracuse opened the second half with a 20-7 run punctuated by Joseph's fast-break layup that gave the Orange a 55-31 advantage.
"We were taking the right shots and making them,'' Jardine said. "It's good to get a win against a good Philly team because I know all of the coaches and most of the guys on that team.''
Syracuse guard Dion Waiters is also from Philadelphia and attended Life Center Academy in Burlington, N.J., where he was a teammate of Drexel freshman Goran Pantovic. Waiters scored eight points in 13 minutes.
"We've got to move on, just like after the Louisville win we had to move on,'' Colds said. "We have a whole lot of season left, so we can't hang our heads over this one.''