SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Jim Boeheim became the third Division I men's coach to reach 900 wins as No. 3 Syracuse beat Detroit, 72-68, on Monday night in the Gotham Classic.
Boeheim, 68 and in his 37th year at his alma mater, is 900-304 and joined an elite fraternity. Mike Krzyzewski (936) and Bob Knight (902) are the only other men's Division I coaches to win that many games.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Boeheim's college roommate, teammate and fellow Hall of Famer, and Roosevelt Bouie, a star on Boeheim's first team in 1976-77, were in the Carrier Dome crowd of 17,902. Midway through the second half, fans were given placards featuring cardboard cutouts of Boeheim's face with 900 wins printed on the back to celebrate.
Boeheim was presented a jersey encased in glass with 900 emblazoned on it.
"I'm happy. I've stayed around long enough," Boeheim said at center court. "I was a little nervous."
James Southerland had 22 points for Syracuse (10-0), which increased its home winning streak to 30 games, longest in the nation. Detroit (6-5), which lost, 77-74, at St. John's in the second game of the season and 74-61 at Pitt earlier this month, had its four-game winning streak snapped.
Orange point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who had 10 or more assists in four straight games and six altogether, finished with 10 assists and 12 points, his sixth straight double-double.
Juwan Howard Jr. and Doug Anderson both scored 18 points and Nick Minnerath had 13 for Detroit. Ray McCallum Jr., Detroit's leading scorer at 19.4 points a game, finished with nine, while Jason Calliste had seven.
Southerland scored a career-high 35 points, matching a school record with nine 3-pointers, in a win at Arkansas in late November and, after an 0-for-10 slump over three games, found his range again Saturday night with three 3s in a win over Canisius. He finished 5 of 8 from behind the arc against the Titans.
Syracuse led 40-21 at halftime, and was cruising midway through the second half when the public address announcer in the Carrier Dome invited fans to stick around for the postgame celebration. That stoked the Titans to spoil the moment as the game wound down, and they made it worrisome for the hometown crowd.
Howard scored 11 points to key a 16-0 run, his two free throws pulling Detroit within 67-63 with 55.1 seconds left. But Carter-Williams hit three of four free throws to hold off the Titans.
One of the keys to breaking Syracuse's 2-3 zone is hitting the long ball, and Detroit struck out in the first half. The Titans were 0 for 10 and the lone 3 they did make – by McCallum with just over 6 minutes left – was negated by a shot-clock violation.
The Titans went nearly 7 minutes without a basket, and when they missed Southerland made them pay. He hit consecutive 3s – from the wing and the top of the key – to boost the Syracuse lead to 27-13 with 7:25 left.
After Howard hit a jumper from the wing to snap Detroit's scoreless drought, the Orange finished the half with a 13-6 run. The 21 points at halftime were a season low for the Titans.
C.J. Fair started the Syracuse surge with a layup and follow shot, Southerland hit two more 3s to finish the half 5 of 6 from behind the arc, and Carter-Williams hit a 3 at the shot-clock buzzer with 4 seconds left.
It hardly mattered that Brandon Triche, the Orange's leading scorer, had only one point. The Orange were 6 of 10 on 3-pointers and shot 55.6 percent (15 of 27), and it seemed unlikely the Titans would deprive Boeheim of his milestone victory.
Detroit was 10 of 29 in the half and 28 of 60 for the game, finishing 3 of 18 from long range.