#4 Syracuse (27-2, 14-2) used a balanced offensive attack to claim at least a share of the BIG EAST regular-season championship on Saturday night with a 95-77 win in a highly-anticipated matchup with #7 Villanova (23-5, 12-4) at the Carrier Dome. Six players scored in double figures for Syracuse, including all five starters. Junior Rick Jackson led the way with 19 points. Classmate Wes Johnson had 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds to record his 11th double-double of the year. Senior Arinze Onuaku (17 points), redshirt sophomore Scoop Jardine (16 points), sophomore Kris Joseph (16 points) and senior Andy Rautins (12 points) also reached double digits. Onuaku tied his season high with nine rebounds against the Wildcats. Rautins dished out a game-best eight assists, one short of his career high. He also had three steals. It’s the ninth time Syracuse has earned at least a share of the conference regular-season title and the first time since 2002-03 when the Orange was co-champion of the BIG EAST West. The win was also the team’s school-record 27th regular-season victory. Number one Kansas and number two Kentucky were both upset on Saturday. Its possible and maybe likely Syracuse will hop over number three Purdue--the Boilermakers just lost top player Robbie Hummel for the season--to take over the number one ranking when the polls are released on Monday. A sold-out crowd of 34,616 witnessed the affair, the largest on-campus crowd in college basketball history. Those in attendance saw a dominating performance by the hosts. Syracuse outrebounded Villanova, 49-40, including a 23-15 advantage on the offensive glass that led to 23 second-chance points. The Orange outscored the Wildcats, 24-13, at the free-throw line and owned an 18-2 margin in fastbreak points. Syracuse also forced 17 turnovers. It certainly didn’t look like it would be a comfortable win for the Orange at the outset. The Wildcats pulled in front early, using a 12-2 run to claim a nine-point advantage (23-14) with 11:34 to go in the first half. But the Orange defense stiffened, holding Villanova without a field goal for the next 5:47. The Wildcats were 0-for-9 with two turnovers during the stretch. Meanwhile, Jardine sparked the Orange off the bench. With Villanova struggling against the SU zone, he drilled a 3-pointer at the 11:19 mark, and scored a transition layup with 10:16 remaining in the first to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 23-19. Jardine canned another triple to bring the Orange within one (30-29), and assisted on a Joseph dunk that put the hosts in front, 31-30, at the 4:35 mark of the opening half. With momentum and the crowd on its side, the Orange continued to surge, taking a 36-30 advantage on a pair of free throws by Johnson before a Taylor King three with 2:25 remaining trimmed the margin to three. However, the Orange tallied 10 of the final 13 points of the period, including six from the free-throw line, to push its lead to 46-36 at the intermission. In the second half, Onuaku took over. With the Orange in front 61-52, the big fella scored 12 of the team’s next 14 points to propel SU to a 17-point lead, 75-58, with 8:19 to play and SU never looked back. The Wildcats got within 15 points twice down the stretch, but couldn’t put a consistent run together, and the Orange led by more than 20 in the final minutes before securing an 18-point win. Scottie Reynolds paced the Wildcats with 16 points. He also contributed three assists. Corey Fisher added 14 points, but was limited to just four points in the second half after scoring 10 in the opening period. King and Mouphtaou Yarou secured a team-best eight boards for Villanova. Yarou also had 13 points. The victory ended a three-game losing streak for the Orange against the Wildcats, who entered the game having won five of the last six pairings. Syracuse returns to action on Tuesday, March 2 when the Orange hosts St. John’s. It will be Senior Day at the Carrier Dome as Rautins and Onuaku play in front of the Orange faithful for the last time. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.