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Amid clouds of controversy, Syracuse wins again
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - On Wednesday morning, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick will hold a press conference to address the investigation into former Syracuse associate head coach Bernie Fine.
On Tuesday night, the No. 3 Orange, and embattled coach Jim Boeheim, continued to try to move past the sex-abuse scandal surrounding Fine with a workmanlike 62-56 win over Marshall at the Carrier Dome.
“We’re not distracted at all,” Syracuse’s Dion Waiters said. “Just continue to play basketball at the end of the day.”
So far, so good.
Waiters had 15 points and Kris Joseph had 11 and eight rebounds as the unbeaten Orange continued to win amid a federal investigation, this time outlasting the Herd behind a solid defensive effort in front of 19,817 fans who appeared ready to solely focus on basketball.
“It just seemed like another game, another game at the dome, another home game, and we won,” Joseph said. “We just want to keep winning, protect our home court.”
It was the third game for Syracuse (9-0) since Fine was fired after allegations by three men that he sexually molested them as minors. Two of the three men were former Orange ballboys. Fine has maintained his innocence and no charges have been filed.
Boeheim figured the Thundering Herd (5-2), which beat Cincinnati of the Big East in overtime on the road, would offer a tough challenge for the Orange.
He was right.
But Scoop Jardine helped down the stretch, finishing with 10 points, five rebounds and four assists as the Orange became the first Big East team to get to nine wins.
It’s been nearly three weeks since the allegations against Fine surfaced, but the intensity of the media spotlight has dimmed in recent days.
“There wasn’t a lot of media there, and there’s not a lot of media outside (the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center where the team practices),” Jardine said. “We can be focused on basketball … not that we (weren’t).”
Jardine also had three of Syracuse’s 12 steals as the Orange scored 20 points off Marshall turnovers and hung on despite an off night shooting and a second-half struggle on the boards.
“Turnovers really hurt us tonight,” said Damier Pitts, who had 10 points for the Herd. “We had five or six in a row in the first half. That led to layups, and that hurt us.”
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