If the Providence Friars came into Wednesday night's game against No. 8 Syracuse with dreams of a fifth-straight victory, those dreams were annihilated over the final eight minutes of the first half in the Carrier Dome. The Orange outscored the Friars, 27-2, in that stretch to turn a 16-14 lead into a 43-16 laugher at halftime en route to the 84-59 victory.
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With the win, Syracuse improves to 10-3 in the Big East and moves into a first-place tie with Marquette atop the conference. Those two teams will meet Feb. 25 in Milwaukee.
Providence had won four straight, including games over Villanova and Cincinnati, but was never able to recover from the Orange's offensive outburst. LaDontae Henton did his best to keep the Friars in the game, but his double-double (15 points, 13 rebounds) barely made a difference. Providence allowed Syracuse to shoot 57 percent from the field on 30-of-53 shooting, along with a 5-of-10 mark from three.
Though Syracuse is looking for a Big East regular season title and Providence is just fighting to stay near .500, the Friars do have something to play for. Providence is hoping to stay above the bottom four in the conference. The four worst teams must play Tuesday night at the Big East Championship, making the road to an unlikely title that much tougher.