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Devendorf, Rautins spark Syracuse over Northeastern

Nov 16, 2006 - 2:22 AM SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- With the way Eric Devendorf and Andy Rautins were shooting from outside, no deficit proved too big for No. 20 Syracuse.

Devendorf and Rautins combined for seven 3-pointers and 32 points as the Orange overcame an early 14-point deficit for an 81-58 victory over Northeastern.

It was the 737th career win for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, tying him with Jerry Tarkanian for 15th on the all-time wins list.

Falling behind, 19-5, in the opening 5 1/2 minutes, Syracuse (4-0) experienced the slow start that would be expected of a team that was playing in its fourth game in six days.

"Defensively, coming off of three games is obviously tough," Boeheim said. "Northeastern was extremely well prepared. In the first few plays we had a hand up, we were close to them, but we didn't stop the shot and they made them."

However, the Orange came alive behind Rautins and freshman Paul Harris, who combined to score 11 of the game's next 14 points to close the deficit to 22-16 with 11:34 remaining.

Although the Huskies (0-1) were able to push the lead back to 27-16 on a 3-pointer by Eugene Spates more than two minutes later, the Orange responded with an 11-0 run to knot the score at 27-27, capped by a 3-pointer by Demetris Nichols with 7:02 to play.

Devendorf, who had five points during the spurt, added five more points on an another 11-0 burst that gave Syracuse a 41-33 advantage at the half.

"I think we kind of came out sluggish, but then we saw we were down 15 points and we had to make a run," Devendorf said. "We picked up our intensity on defense, had a couple of steals, a few buckets and we took it from there."

A Big East Conference All-Rookie selection last year, Devendorf added his fourth 3-pointer for a 50-43 lead with 15:12 remaining in the second half. The 6-4 guard finished with 19 points, shooting 4-of-8 from the arc.

"Eric's doing a good job on the point," Boeheim said. "He made some mistakes tonight, but 19 and eight (assists), that's pretty good."

Rautins, who had 13 points, ignited a decisive 11-0 run with his third 3-pointer with 13:47 left, making it 53-46. Nichols' two free throws with 11:13 to play capped the spurt at 61-46. The senior forward ended up with 15 points.

Breaking the 80-point mark for the third time this season, Syracuse shot 51 percent (29-of-57), including 10-of-21 from the arc.

The Orange also controlled the game on the boards, holding a 45-26 advantage. Terrence Roberts pulled down 13 rebounds while Harris had 12 to go along with 16 points.

"I'm just trying to get better every game," Harris said of his adjustment to the collegiate game. Coach told me to stop settling for jumpers (so) I was just trying to go to the hole and get the rebound. I'm making progress. I think about mid-season I'll be OK."

Freshman Matt Janning scored 16 points and Adrian Martinez 13 for Northeastern, which shot just 8-of-27 (30 percent) in the second half and committed nine of its 13 turnovers.

Martinez and freshman Manny Adako provided the early spark for the Huskies, scoring six points each as the America East squad raced out to the big lead.

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