Rashad Anderson added 13 points, Ben Gordon had 11 and Denham Brown 10 for Connecticut (15-5, 6-3 Big East West), which posted its first win over a top-25 team this season.
The Huskies were playing their first home game since Coach Jim Calhoun underwent prostate surgery. Calhoun told the team he had cancer last Monday and had successful surgery Thursday. He was released from the hospital Sunday but will be away from the team for an indefinite period.
Connecticut improved to 2-1 under under interim Coach George Blaney.
The Huskies also were playing their second straight game without starting point guard Taliek Brown, who injured his left index finger in a loss at Virginia Tech on Wednesday and will be out approximately four weeks.
Freshman Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points, but Syracuse (16-4, 7-3) had its three-game winning streak snapped. The Orangemen fell to 3-3 on the road this season and 8-9 all-time at the Hartford Civic Center.