CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- The best player on the court talked of leadership, picking spots and getting his teammates involved, and for the first time in a long time at John Paul Jones Arena, Virginia's Sean Singletary wasn't doing the talking.
Syracuse freshman Donte Greene is confident he can score when he needs to, "but it's important to get your teammates involved, to get the team rolling and get everyone hyped up so in the second half you can crush them and get them out of there."
Greene did that to the Cavaliers and Singletary on Wednesday night, scoring 12 of his 20 points in the final 9:42 as the Orange made their first trip outside New York a good one, handing Virginia only its second loss in 22 games at its new arena, 70-68.
It was a victory that Eric Devendorf wanted to make certain the NCAA selection committee would take into account. The Orange were left out of the NCAA tournament last season when the strength of their road schedule was called into question.
"Hopefully the NCAA committee is going to see that this year," he said.
The Orange (6-2), who had played five home games and two at Madison Square Garden in New York, held Virginia to three points in a span of more than six minutes in the second half, turning a 39-32 deficit into a 51-44 lead with 10:16 to play.
Virginia (6-2) rallied to regain the lead behind the play of Adrian Joseph, who had 19 points and 13 rebounds, but Greene scored five in a row to get the Orange back in front, then hit a baby hook with 1:05 to play to give them a cushion at 68-65.
"He's a very difficult matchup," Cavaliers coach Dave Leitao said of the 6-foot-11 freshman. "Long, with a touch, can play inside, can play outside.
"He just uses his length to get to spots and shoots over you."
Singletary had a miserable game for the Cavaliers, missing 11 of 14 shots and six of eight free throws, including his first five. He came in 45-for-48 at the line, but was clearly not up to par and drew a pass for his off performance from Leitao.
"There's nothing that he can do that's going to draw criticism from me," Leitao said. "He's done far, far more than anybody could ever have imagined and will do much more before his career is over. So when he has a night when he's less than perfect, the last thing any of us need to do is throw any kind of criticism his way."
Singletary had 10 points and nine assists, and Mamadi Diane also scored 10.
Leitao refused to blame illness for Singletary's off-night, but Calvin Baker said the third-year captain hadn't been feeling well all week and the team failed him.
"It's hard because he's our leader, but it motivates us because we want to play well for him," Baker said. "I felt like we kind of let him down."
Greene had a dunk and a 3-pointer in front of another 3 by Devendorf that gave Syracuse a 66-61 lead. Greene then answered four straight points by Virginia with the shot over Joseph with 65 seconds to play. When Singletary's 3-pointer missed badly, Paul Harris missed the front end of a one-and-one for Syracuse and Virginia had a shot.
Diane's dunk made it 68-67, but Flynn foiled the Cavaliers chances by making both ends of a one-and-one with 5.3 seconds to play, and Singletary was fouled with 1.2 seconds to play, before he could get off a 3-pointer. The Cavaliers ran out of time.
Flynn was 6-for-6 from the line, the Cavaliers just 5-for-11 as they lost for just the second time at John Paul Jones Arena since it opened to start last season.
The Cavaliers, 16-for-32 from 3-point range in a blowout victory against Northwestern in their last game, started 2-for-10 from deep and finished 11-for-32.
Virginia trailed for most of the first half, but two free throws by Mike Scott with 6:36 left sparked a 17-5 run to end the half, giving the Cavaliers a 36-29 lead.