No. 2 Syracuse edges UConn to clinch Big East

By the Associated Press | February 26, 2012 | 12:36 AM EST

Syracuse's Dion Waiters (3) drives to the basket while guarded by Connecticut's Jeremy Lamb, left, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Storrs, Conn., Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Fab Melo's follow-up dunk with 31 seconds left lifted No. 2 Syracuse to a 71-69 win over Connecticut on Saturday night and clinched the Big East regular season title for the Orange.

C.J. Fair blocked a shot by Roscoe Smith just before the buzzer to preserve the victory for Syracuse (29-1, 16-1) which has won nine in a row since its only loss of the season. Kris Joseph had 21 points to lead the Orange.

Jeremy Lamb had 19 points and Andre Drummond added 17 points and 14 rebounds for UConn (17-11, 7-9), which overcame a 17-point second-half deficit to tie the game with 47 seconds to go.

The win was the first for Syracuse at Gampel Pavilion, where the Orange had been 0-4.