No. 1 Syracuse Vs. Villanova Recap: Orange Improve To 18-0 Following 79-66 Victory

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 11: Scoop Jardine #11 and Dion Waiters #3 of the Syracuse Orange celebrate a play against the Villanova Wildcats at the Wells Fargo Center on January 11, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)

The Syracuse Orange defeated the Villanova Wildcats on Wednesday night to match the school's second best start at 18-0.

The Syracuse Orange improved to 18-0 on the season and 5-0 in the Big East with a 79-66 victory over the Villanova Wildcats on Wednesday night. While the Wildcats did have a bit of a second half surge, it wasn't enough to overcome the 19-point deficit that they entered with at halftime.

Dion Walters left the Orange with 20 points and five rebounds while also contributing with three steals and two assists. James Southerland added 15 points to be the team's second-leading scorer. The team was well spread out with the rebound as all 10 players to see time on the court each had at least one rebound and most with three or more.

Villanova had a poor night shooting from the field, putting up 61 shots but sinking just 20. While James Bell was 3-of-5 on three-point territory, the team shot just 6-of-20 from beyond the arc. JayVaughn Pinkston, Mouphtaou Yarou and Dominic Cheek were tied for the team-lead in points with 12.

Syracuse matched its second best start in school history with the 18-0 start, which was how far the Orange went last year before its first loss. The school's best start came in 1990-2000 when the team started 19-0. They will look to match that on Saturday when they host the Providence Friars.

For more on this game, visit Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and Villanova blog The Nova Blog. Head over to SB Nation NCAA Basketball for more on the 2011-2012 college hoops season.

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