No. 1 Syracuse beats Seton Hall 75-49.

Fab Melo had 12 points and 10 blocks, both career-highs, and No. 1 Syracuse stifled Seton Hall at every turn in a 75-49 victory Wednesday night in the Big East opener for both teams.

Syracuse (14-0, 1-0) gained control with a staunch defensive performance in the opening half in building a 34-15 lead.

Melo, who had his first career double-double, pulled in seven rebounds.

Dion Waiters had 15 points and Brandon Triche added 11 for Syracuse, which won easily despite a subpar performance from leading scorer Kris Joseph, who missed all six of his shots and did not score. He did have four steals and four assists.

The victory was the 870th of Jim Boeheim's career, putting him within six of fourth-place Adolph Rupp of Kentucky and nine of third-place North Carolina's Dean Smith on the Division I list.

Jordan Theodore had 14 points for Seton Hall (11-2, 0-1), which had an eight-game winning streak snapped. Herb Pope, fourth in the nation in scoring at 20.3 points per game, had only four points and nine rebounds.

Last January, Jeremy Hazell led a long-range Seton Hall barrage with 28 points and the hot-shooting Pirates stunned ninth-ranked Syracuse 90-68. Seton Hall had seven 3s in in building a 13-point halftime lead.

The tables were turned this time.

With Hazell gone, Pope is the focus of the Pirates' attack. He has eight double-doubles, tops in the nation, and had only failed to reach double figures in scoring once, in the Pirates' win at Longwood on Friday night when he finished with eight in 29 minutes.

On Wednesday, the Syracuse defense clamped down on the big guy, who was 2 of 9 shooting and committed six of Seton Hall's 23 turnovers. The Orange finished with 17 steals.

Syracuse leads the nation with 11.2 steals per game and a turnover margin of 8.6, and the Orange's penchant for creating mistakes was on full display in the first half. Seton Hall committed 15 turnovers and Pope led the way with five, scoring just two points on a driving dunk and missing the other five shots he attempted.

Melo closed the first half with a stunning block of Pope under the basket at the buzzer. It was his eighth block of the half and he did it to Pope again early in the second after scoring two straight baskets. Melo converted a miss by Triche and scored off a nice feed underneath from Joseph to boost the lead to 42-20 with 16:19 left.

A 3-pointer by Scoop Jardine boosted the lead to 50-26 at 13:35.

The Pirates missed their first six shots and Syracuse gained a 6-1 lead when Triche followed his own miss and fed Melo for a dunk.

Consecutive baskets by Waiters, the second a steal and dunk, boosted the lead to 12-3 as the Orange began to steadily pull away. When Theodore hit a 3 from the left wing at 8:05, he had 10 of Seton Hall's 12 points.

Syracuse finished with 15 blocks, five off the school record set Jan. 11, 1992, against Miami.

collegeCollege Sportssports

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Syd Mandelbaum created the home run tracker, which revolutionized statistics in major league sports. (Courtesy photo)
Home run tracker, with roots at Candlestick Park, marks 30 years

When Giants first baseman Brandon Belt slugged a solo home run in… Continue reading

Talika Fletcher, sister of Roger Allen, is consoled at a vigil to honor her brother, who was killed by Daly City Police on April 7, on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supporters march for SF man killed by Daly City police

Struggle over fake gun ends in shooting of 44-year-old Roger Allen, DA says

Curfews on indoor dining have been lifted as The City continues to reopen business. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City to allow expanded indoor dining, limited indoor concerts and small conferences

With new COVID-19 cases remaining stable, San Francisco will continue to expand… Continue reading

Johnny Cueto P was the starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants against the Cinnanti Reds, Wednesday. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Cueto leaves with injury as Giants take series from Reds

A latissimus dorsi injury to Johnny Cueto cast a dark cloud over… Continue reading

Tenants’ rights laws are often mysterious and written in language that confuses. (Shutterstock)
It’s not a good time to be a bad landlord

Tenant Relief Act, at last, is one positive thing for renters

Most Read