SYRACUSE, N.Y., Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Scoop Jardine's 3-pointer with 3:53 remaining gave Syracuse an eight-point lead Friday and the No. 3 Orange held on to down ninth-ranked Florida 72-68.
Syracuse rallied from a nine-point deficit early in the second half to avoid what would have been its first loss of the season.
The Orange took the lead inside the 5-minute mark and boosted the advantage to 58-53 when C.J. Fair grabbed his own rebound and hit a jumper with 4:22 left. After Fair stole the ball on Florida's next possession, Jardine hit his 3-pointer.
Florida did not threaten down the stretch and made the final score as close as it was only because Erving Walker hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Orange were outshot 45 percent to 40 percent, but turned the ball over six fewer times than did the Gators and made 10 more free throws.
Florida (5-2) was paced by Kenny Boynton with 22 points. The Gators' other loss came against No. 2 Ohio State in the second game of the season.