SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- Gerry McNamara got Syracuse off to a good start, then sent the crowd home with a dagger at the end.
McNamara scored 15 of his 22 points in the first half before No. 7 Syracuse needed a second-half run to defeat Notre Dame, 70-61, in a Big East Conference game.
The Orange led, 38-34, at the break behind McNamara, but the Fighting Irish got 3-pointers from Chris Thomas and Chris Quinn and a jumper from Dennis Latimore to take a 42-38 two minutes into the second half. Quinn hit another from the arc with 8:17 to play for a 57-51 lead.
Syracuse (16-1, 3-0 Big East) converted seven straight shots to take a 65-57 lead with just over three minutes to play. Josh Pace, who finished with 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting, scored three hoops during the run.
Notre Dame (10-3, 2-1) went nearly seven minutes without a field goal but pulled within 66-61 on a layup by Torin Francis with 1:39 left. 22 seconds later, McNamara, who made just 7-of-21 shots, drilled his fourth 3-pointer of the game that started to clear out what was a raucous crowd at the Joyce Center.
"I was a little tired and a lot of my shots had come up short in the second half, so I just wanted to get the ball up on the rim, and fortunately it went in," McNamara said of his big shot.
"It was the worst look he had all night, so I knew he was going to make that one," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "When he takes the last shot late in the game, I don't even look at it. I know it's going in."
The Fighting Irish went to the 3-point game against the vaunted Orange zone defense, hoisting 31 from the arc. They hit 8-of-their-first 17 but made just one in the final 19 minutes.
"Early in the game, we gave them some open looks and they knocked them down," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "Then we did a good job of finding Chris Thomas, and we made him work really hard. ... The defense was really the difference tonight."
Senior guard Chris Thomas, who scored a season-high 25 points in Saturday's 78-72 triumph over Villanova, was held to five on 1-of-14 shooting, including 1-of-11 from the arc. The all-time assists and career-leader had made 11-of-16 from the arc in his last four games.
"They had Chris Thomas pushed out. He has to shoot them," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "We'll live or die with him taking shots, and tonight we died."
McNamara, who made 4-of-15 from the arc, is five 3-pointers shy of matching Preston Shumpert for the all-time school record of 240.
The win was the ninth straight for the Orange and 300th Big East triumph for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. He is the first coach in Big East history to reach that milestone.
Billy Edelin scored four points, but his floor game helped ignite Syracuse during a second-half rally. He finished with five assists and a career-high seven steals in a season-high 24 minutes for the Orange, who played their first game out of New York state this season.
"Billy [Edelin] had more steals tonight than he's gotten in two years," Boeheim said. "The ball was like a magnet, coming to him all night. He was just getting in the right place, getting his hands active."
Hakim Warrick had 12 points and five rebounds for the Orange, who shot 50 percent (28-of-56) from the floor to offset a 10-of-24 performance from the line. Warrick, who picked up his fourth foul with 12 minutes to play, missed 8-of-10 from the stripe.
"Hakim was struggling tonight," Boeheim said. "We've needed him to get 20 points for every game that we've won, and he did have two big baskets for us when he came back in."
Francis, who was on the bench with four fouls during Syracuse's run, had 15 points and nine rebounds for Notre Dame, which had its six-game winning streak snapped and was denied its first opportunity to start a Big East season with three victories.
"We can't complain because we had our chances, but we couldn't pull out the stops when we needed to," Mike Brey said. "I'm disappointed on the offensive end. Our zone got wide and we turned it over at key times. They did a good job extending us. We got it close, but couldn't convert."
Thomas set a Notre Dame school record playing in his 112th straight contest.