Jim Boeheim stared up in frustration at the Carrier Dome scoreboard, his No. 2 Syracuse Orange in big trouble against eighth-ranked Villanova.
The visiting Wildcats had started Saturday's game by hitting four straight three-pointers — three swishes by James Bell and another by Darrun Hilliard — and led 25-7 midway through the first half after a dunk by Josh Hart.
Syracuse struggled to create open looks and went nearly 4 minutes without a basket as the Wildcats looked exactly like the team that had already beaten two ranked teams.
"There was no indication we were going to get going," Boeheim said.
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If the Orange were frazzled by their largest deficit of the season, it never showed. They responded with a 20-0 run over the next 5 minutes to take their first lead and never trailed again, winning 78-62 in a game between two of nine unbeaten teams left in Division I.
"They came out on fire. They kind of caught us off guard," said C.J. Fair, who had 17 points for the Orange despite constant double-teams. "We knew the kind of team they are. It's hard to have a defense for the type of offense they have for the first 5 or 10 minutes."
Syracuse (12-0) tightened its defense and the Wildcats (11-1) missed seven shots, committed three fouls and were called for a travel before losing the ball out of bounds as the game began to slip away.
Western Kentucky 103, Brescia 65: George Fant scored 23 points with seven rebounds and three assists to lead Western Kentucky over Brescia in Bowling Green.
Western Kentucky (8-4) won its third straight and is 7-0 at home. Fant (Warren Central) scored 19 points in the first half as the Hilltoppers jumped to a 45-29 halftime lead and never trailed against NAIA-level Brescia.
T.J. Price and Trency Jackson each scored 19 points for WKU. Price was 7-for-9 from the floor and hit three three-pointers. Price has made at least one three-pointer in 26 straight games. Jackson was 6-for-10 from the floor, including two three-pointers. All 14 players scored for the Hilltoppers.
No. 25 Missouri 68, N.C. State 64: Jabari Brown hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 55.1 seconds left to help Missouri beat North Carolina State at Raleigh, N.C.
Cincinnati 74, Nebraska 59: Justin Jackson had his third straight double-double, and Cincinnati used its free-throw shooting and defense to overcome a poor shooting game by top scorer Sean Kilpatrick.
The host Bearcats (11-2) have won four in a row since back-to-back losses to New Mexico and Xavier.
Jackson had 15 points and 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.
Butler 66, NJIT 48: Khyle Marshall scored 21 points and Kameron Woods (Eastern) added nine points and 12 rebounds as Butler (10-2) slugged its way to a win in Indianapolis.
No. 4 Wisconsin 80, Prairie View A&M 43: Sam Dekker had 16 points and 11 rebounds for his third career double-double as Wisconsin (13-0) cruised past Prairie View A&M at Madison, Wis.
No. 5 Michigan State 101, New Orleans 48: Keith Appling scored 16 of his career-high tying 27 points in the first half to help Michigan State (11-1) pull away and rout New Orleans at East Lansing, Mich.
No. 9 Duke 82, Eastern Michigan 59: Jabari Parker scored 23 points and Duke won easily at Durham, N.C. Andre Dawkins added 20 points with a season-high six three-pointers as a late replacement for an ill Rodney Hood in the starting lineup.
No. 15 Connecticut 82, E. Washington 65: Shabazz Napier had 15 points and nine assists to lead Connecticut (11-1) to a win at Bridgeport, Conn.
No. 17 Memphis 75, Jackson State 61: Michael Dixon scored 14 points, Shaq Goodwin had 13 points and seven rebounds, and Memphis (9-2) never trailed in a win at home.
No. 23 UMass 69, Providence 67: Derrick Gordon's put-back with 1.1 seconds left in overtime lifted Massachusetts to a victory at Amherst, Mass. Gordon, a Western Kentucky transfer, grabbed the rebound after a three-point attempt by Trey Davis came up short.
South Carolina 78, Akron 42: Brenton Williams scored a season-high 24 points and host South Carolina rolled over Akron in their second-straight game since Christmas Day, when they beat them 69-59 at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.
Michigan 88, Holy Cross 66: Glenn Robinson III scored a career-best 23 points in a win at Ann Arbor, Mich.