The Orange contained Notre Dame's high-powered offense despite the efforts of ND's Luke Harangody and Tim Abromaitis. Harangody, a consensus pre-season All-American, contributed with a double-double of 31 points and 14 rebounds, and Abromaitis added 26 points on 10-for-17 shooting.
Harangody and Abromaitis combined to score 70 percent of ND's total points, while Tory Jackson delivered an impressive 15 assists.
Syracuse's offense was balanced (again) and was complimented with an energetic 2/3 defense.
Wesley Johnson who had been under the weather (he was ill for the West Virginia game), led his team with 22 points on eight-for-15 shooting and collected eight rebounds.
Andy Rautins pitched in with five 3-pointers, ending up with 21 points. In addition, Rautins was a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.
Onuaku fueled the offense, too, generating 13 points, and gathering seven rebounds. Onuaku has been diligently working on his free throw shooting, and it finally paid off as he hit a career-best five out of nine tries.
SU carried a touchdown advantage at halftime, leading 39-32. It was in large measure due to Rautins, who buried five of his 3-pointers, and Johnson scoring 10 points connecting on five field goals. ND countered with Harrangody's 10 points and six rebounds.
In the second half, SU pounded the ball down-low in the post to Onuaku and Jackson who racked up points in the paint that gave the Orange an 11 point cushion 53-42. But in a span of less than two minutes, ND roared back with a 9-3 scoring run that slashed SU's lead.
With 7:46 remaining, Rautins grabbed a missed Luke Harangody 3-point attempt and splayed his elbows to protect his new possession, as Tory Jackson was hovering close to him trying to steal the ball.
Rautins' elbow caught Jackson in the face and sent him sprawling to the floor. Referee Tim Higgins had no choice but to blow his whistle, and ruled that Rautins committed an intentional foul.