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Jimmy V. Classic: Syracuse holds rival UConn at bay throughout, wins 7th game of the year

Paschal Chukwu recorded six points and five rebounds in Syracuse's 72-63 win over Connecticut from Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. (PHOTO: ESPN)

Syracuse and Connecticut met once again, for the 94 time [to be exact], Tuesday night from inside Madison Square Garden.

Sure, the two teams may not have the same pizzazz that the matchup offered five years ago, but it's the appearance of the game that attracted eyeballs as ESPN's prime time game during the Jimmy V. Classic.

The network goes all out each year during the first week of December, pinning four of the nation's top college basketball programs to meet from the World's Most Famous Arena.

No. 4 Villanova knocked of No. 12 Gonzaga in the first game of the night, 88-72.

However, Syracuse and UConn followed with history on its side, meeting 93 times dating back to 1956.

The old Big East Conference rivals traded baskets early on, but after a Terry Larrier three-pointer only one minute into the game, giving the Huskies a 3-2 lead -- it never happened again.

The Orange took back the lead and never looked back, as the Huskies closed the gap to seven points midway through the second half, but was unable to come closer than that.

Tyus Battle led the Orange with 22 points, while a pair of Syracuse freshmen poured in solid performances.

In fact, for Matthew Moyer, it was a career-high-type of performance.

Moyer poured in 18 points along with seven rebounds in the 72-63 victory, while Oshae Brissett went for 16 points and 10 rebounds.

The win gave Syracuse a much needed non-conference, neutral site victory, which the NCAA Tournament committee admitted to be weighing much more heavily this year when deciding on worthy teams in March.

The Orange will return to action Saturday at 2 p.m. when it hosts Colgate from the Carrier Dome.

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