January 22, 2011 by staff 

Villanova, (AP) – Wayne Malick scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half and No. 7 Villanova took a big lead then held on to beat third place Syracuse 83-72 Saturday before a boisterous crowd Carrier Dome.

It was the second straight game for each team against a team of top-10. Villanova (17-2, 5-1 Big East) lost 61-59 to No. 8 Connecticut on Monday, when the Orange (18-2, 5-2) lost 74-66 to fifth Pitt. Syracuse had won 16 consecutive dating back to the Carrier Dome last February, but a disappointing season high crowd of 33,736, second largest in the history of the building.

The Wildcats reached 8 3-pointers in the first half and withstood a late rally Syracuse. The Orange closed what had been a 13-point lead to five when Baye Moussa Keita converted a three-point game to move within 75-70 Syracuse with 63 seconds left.

But the Wildcats hit six straight free throws to hold on.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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