Cooney facing Notre Dame was just the test he needed to break out of a recent slump, which saw him make just 12 of 52 shots in his previous 5 games. He also dealt with a back injury on Saturday when he went 0-for-5 against Pittsburgh. Cooney said his back felt fine on Tuesday.
The Orange have now won 6 of their past 7 meetings against Notre Dame. The loss sends the Fighting Irish down to 3rd place in the ACC standings.
Despite dealing with early foul trouble, Rakeem Christmas finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds in 28 minutes. B.J. Johnson matched a career-high with 19 points for Syracuse, who held Notre Dame to 35 percent shooting for the night.
Notre Dame trailed by as many as 10 in the first half, and by 7 with less than 2 minutes left. They would cut their deficit down to 2, but free throws and a Johnson dunk helped Syracuse pull away. The Irish entered the game 2nd in the nation with a 51 percent field goal percentage, but were just 10-of-35 from the floor with 11 minutes left.
Johnson did not score in the first 8 league games for the Orange, but had a career game to lead Syracuse to their 2nd straight win over a ranked team.
Bonzie Colson led the Irish with 16 points, while Pat Connaughton finished with a double-double of 13 points and 15 rebounds. Jerian Grant added 13 points on just 2-for-8 shooting on the night.
Notre Dame now sits at 24-5 overall this season, 12-4 in ACC play, and will visit a struggling Louisville team next Wednesday. The Orange are now 18-10 on the season, 9-6 in the conference, and will have another tough test when they visit Duke on Saturday.