SOUTH BEND, Ind., March 4 (UPI) -- Carmelo Anthony scored on a follow shot with 39 seconds left to snap a tie Tuesday night as 12th-ranked Syracuse held on for a 92-88 Big East victory over No. 16 Notre Dame.
The Orangemen has blown a 21-point lead before getting the win.
Anthony, a leading candidate for national freshman of the year honors, had trouble as he drew most of Notre Dame's defensive attention, but fellow freshmen Gerry McNamara and Billy Edelin combined for 29 points in the first half as Syracuse (22-4, 12-3 Big East West) built a big lead before settling for a 49-38 halftime cushion.
Notre Dame (21-8, 9-6) trailed throughout, but finally pulled even, 86-86, on a three-pointer by Matt Carroll with 2:03 remaining. The game was tied at 88-88 when the Orangemen set up a play for Hakim Warrick.
Warrick posted up and missed a short jumper, but Anthony came through untouched to put in his follow shot. He finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
The Fighting Irish had a chance to tie or take the lead, but Chris Thomas misfired on an ill-advised three-point attempt with 15 seconds left. Thomas elected to shoot rather than find Carroll, who made a school-record eight three-pointers and scored 28 points.
Two free throws by Kueth Duany with eight seconds left provided the final margin for Syracuse, which clinched a first-round bye in the Big East tournament. The Orangemen moved one-half game in front of second-place Pittsburgh in the West division.
"It was still tied, so it was similar to where we've been all year," said Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim of Notre Dame's late charges. "I told (the players) this is where we've been all year, we just got here a different way. We've played so many tough hard-fought games all year long, and plays have been made by different people. We've made plays all year long."
Edelin scored a season-high 26 points and McNamara added 20 for the Orangemen, who shot 56 percent (41-73). Warrick added 14 points and 13 rebounds. He was 7-of-10 shooting.
"Maturity," said Duany, the only scholarship senior for Syracuse. "We're growing. You can see it. We're growing in front of you."
Francis collected 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Thomas finished with 16 and eight assists for the Fighting Irish, who shot just 33 percent (12-of-36) in the first half. Thomas made just 2-of-8 from beyond the arc overall.