PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Hakim Warrick returned home and ended Syracuse's brief slide with a career effort.
Warrick scored 18 of his career-high 32 points in the second half and added 12 rebounds as seventh-ranked Syracuse blitzed No. 25 Villanova, 90-75, in a Big East Conference contest.
"It was great (returning to Philadelphia)," Warrick said. "Once I found out we were playing Villanova at (Philadelphia), I circled it on my calendar. I couldn't wait to get home. I just wanted to come out there and have a big game.
"It definitely helped me (playing at home). I definitely wanted to go out there and have a big game in front of the home crowd. Me losing here my freshman year, I definitely wanted to come out here with a win."
Warrick, who played his high school basketball at Friends Central in Philadelphia, dominated inside, making 10-of-14 shots - mostly on dunks and short jumpers - and 12-of-16 from the line. His previous career high was 30 against Rhode Island last season.
"He's been great all year," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "I still think he's a little underrated. In his last two years, he's been there every game. He's been consistently good for us, game in and game out. He's pretty good for a skinny kid from Philadelphia."
The Orange, who had lost two of their last three games, face No. 15 Pittsburgh on Monday and visit fourth-ranked Boston College next Saturday.
Josh Pace scored 21 points on 9-of-12 shooting and Gerry McNamara added 18 points and seven assists for Syracuse, which evened its all-time Big East Conference series with Villanova at 20-20.
McNamara, who hails from Scranton, Pennsylvania about 120 miles away, was 6-of-9 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from the arc. He shot just 1-of-9 from the arc in Monday's 74-66 loss to Connecticut - only the second time all season he had been held to one 3-pointer.
"It was great for me (playing close to home)," McNamara said. "It was a lot bigger for Hakim (Warrick). It was great for him to come home. He played a flawless game.
"It's definitely a confidence booster to come in and play in front of people that care about you and root for you. There were a lot of people from home, so I'm just happy to be here."
Syracuse overcame 12 first-half turnovers by shooting 61.5 percent (16-of-26) from the floor to take a 43-29 lead at the break. Villanova shot just 30 percent (9-of-30) and missed 10-of-18 free throws in the opening 20 minutes.
"They played an outstanding defensive game," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "When you miss free throws, it's not just (because) of a bad night. Maybe the other team just gets in your head."
The Orange made eight of their first nine shots and took an early 18-13 lead. Syracuse (22-3, 9-2 Big East) got seven points from McNamara and six from Warrick during a 21-5 run that pushed the advantage to 41-25 with two minutes left.
"For us to go out there and jump on them from the start, I think that was big," Warrick said.
Syracuse pushed the lead to 49-29 on two baskets by Craig Forth and a jumper by Josh Pace on its first three possessions, before Villanova's Mike Nardi capped a 12-5 run with a layup that cut the deficit to 54-41 with 14 minutes to play.
But McNamara converted a three-point play and a 3-pointer in the next two possessions to push the lead back to 19, and the Orange cruised thereafter.
"When (Villanova) traps, it's a risk-reward situation," Boeheim said. "We did turn it over in the first half, but when we handled it, we had 2-on-1 and isolation situations where we could get to the basket and we took advantage of those."
Syracuse shot 60 percent (33-of-55) for the game and limited Villanova to just 41 percent (27-of-66).
"Our defense was good from the beginning," Boeheim said. "That was probably the best we've played defensively in a while."
Randy Foye scored 18 points for the Wildcats (14-6, 5-5), who had won five of their last six games.
"We're a good team. To be down 20, that really hurts," Foye said.
Curtis Sumpter scored 13 points and Allan Ray added 12 for Villanova.