The Orange used a big second half to pull away from the Wildcats, who held a 29-27 halftime lead. C.J. Fair came alive after the break, scoring 16 points to lead Syracuse to a 45-32 second-half advantage. Fair finished the game with 22 points, which led all scorers. Jerami Grant added 13 points, while Brandon Triche and Michael Carter-Williams pitched in 10 apiece.
Villaova's JayVaughn Pinkston came off the bench to score seven first-half points, helping the Wildcats make the Orange sweat it out for a while. He finished with a team-leading 12 points. Meanwhile, Mouphtaou Yarou chipped in 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Syracuse (16-1) extended its record in Big East play to 4-0 with the victory. Villanova (11-5) fell to 2-1 in conference action. The Orange will hit the road for a huge meeting with No. 3 Louisville next Saturday, while the Wildcats return home to face Pittsburgh on Wednesday.