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Finally Syracuse has a game where the outcome was basically never in doubt. Syracuse absolutely dominated this game, at one point leading by 31 points, to put this game far out of reach early. Obviously this game was not exciting, but it was certainly enjoyable. Plus it is always nice to see history. Syracuse wins over St. John’s 87 to 58.

Jonny Flynn was the leading scorer, earning 21 points on 9-14 shooting. He looked outstanding in this game compared to the Villanova contest. Flynn sliced the lane, made some mid range shots, and had some excellent assists in this game, as evident by the eight assists he made. He also hit a high arc three that went down after he crossed over a defender. This was the game Flynn needed to carry him to the end of the season.

Eric Devendorf had 17 points and six assists. That was a rare six assists for him, as Devendorf always would rather shoot than pass. However he had a pretty good game and hit some big shots, including 3-5 from downtown. Overall he had a great game and it was a rare occasion that he had only one turnover, leading the starters for least turnovers.

Rick Jackson made seven of eight field goals for a total of 15 points, two steals, and two blocks. Finally this was the presence in the low post we have been waiting for in the last several games. Similarly, Arinze Onuaku earned 14 points on seven for eight shooting, also getting six rebounds. More on Onuaku later.

Paul Harris had six points in this game and led the Orange with 10 rebounds. While he did not have as good of a game here as he did against Villanova, he still played fairly well and was just not given the opportunity to shine like he had in the previous game. He obviously did some serious board work as well, which was key to the margin of victory.

Andy Rautins hit one of three baskets from long range, and hit two of four overall, for five points. He also had seven assists, three steals, and a block. He was generally a non-factor in this game, but did some dirty work on occasion, making some good passes and getting a few rebounds.

Scoring highlight of the game was Jake Presutti hitting a three in the last minute of the game. The bench went simply nuts. Jonny Flynn had a few excellent highlights as well, both driving in the lane, and my favorite highlight when Flynn faked a finger roll and then passed it back to a trailing Devendorf for an easy lay up.

Syracuse led in almost every statistical category in this game. Syracuse had 34 rebounds, while St. John’s had 24. This was clearly due to a serious post presence in this game that was severely lacking the last few games. ‘Cuse had 25 assists, while St. John’s only had 12. Syracuse had their best shooting performance of the season, making 37 of 57 field goals (64.9%). St. John’s had a dismal shooting performance, only making 21 of 53 (39.6%). Syracuse hit six of 11 three point baskets (54.5%), and only taking 11 is a manageable number especially considering that the inside game was working.

What the team regressed on was in the turnover category and in free throws. Syracuse had turnovers in this game, while St. John’s still had 18. Even so, this game was out of reach for St. John’s, but 20 turnovers are unacceptable. You can still play with discipline and not sloppy. Syracuse chose not to do that. Additionally Syracuse’s free throw percentage fell to 46.7% on seven of 15 free throws. This was thanks to Onuaku missing all three he took, pretty horrifically I might add.

This game was important in history as Jim Boeheim becomes the only coach in the history of college basketball to have 31 20 game win seasons. Congratulations to him and tell anyone that thinks the game has passed him by to think again.

Overall, this was an outstanding game for Syracuse. With about 90% of Madison Square Garden fans of the Orange, this was a great game to see in person and on television. Although this game at points was sloppy, Syracuse played well and scored a lot of points while causing several turnovers and gaining rebounds. This game became boring at times, but we have not seen a Syracuse drubbing in a while, so it was nice to see after that rough stretch the team has just gone through. Syracuse now has some rest until they play a surging Cincinnati at home. That game could sure up a nice seed for Syracuse and end Cincy’s NCAA hopes. Or it could give them a quality win. Hopefully this momentum will continue all the way to the Marquette contest, and we see some real fireworks.

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