for this game

Flynn, Syracuse have shaky moments against Cornell

Dec 4, 2008 - 5:52 AM SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- So far, Jonny Flynn and Syracuse have feasted on coming from behind.

Flynn scored 24 points as No. 20 Syracuse survived an impressive effort by Cornell en route to an 88-78 victory on Wednesday.

Paul Harris had 21 points and nine rebounds and Eric Devendorf scored 15 for the Orange (8-0), who won their 31st straight meeting with the Big Red.

The latest might have just been the most difficult, as Ryan Wittman had no trouble shooting over Syracuse's vaunted 2-3 zone, hitting nine 3-pointers and scoring a career-high 33 points.

Wittman fell just one 3-pointer shy of tying the record for the most by a Syracuse opposing player. Brendan Plavich of Charlotte and Chris Hill of Michigan State each drained 10 against the Orange during the 2003-04 campaign.

"They (got) Wittman really good looks and he came out right from the beginning," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim told The Post-Standard. "You let a guy like him get going and he's a tremendous shooter. We just didn't get on him right away."

Despite the effort of Wittman, the Orange were able to rally from a halftime deficit to win for the fourth time in eight games.

Despite the undefeated record, the constant falling behind is starting to rub some players the wrong way.

"I don't like it," Harris told the paper. "We've got to bear down and play 40 minutes hard."

Behind 11 points by Wittman, Cornell (4-4) grabbed a 25-9 lead just over eight minutes into the contest. That was the biggest deficit that Syracuse had faced all season despite such opponents as Florida and Kansas.

Wittman made all four of his 3-point attempts in the first half, scoring 16 points as the Big Red took a 40-35 lead at the break.

Cornell also held a 51-46 edge 5 1/2 minutes into the second half on another basket from the arc by Wittman.

"I think anybody if you hit your first couple you start feeling real good," Wittman told The Post-Standard.

"But it was just something that happened in the flow of the game. It wasn't like I hit a couple and really started looking for it. Most of them were just coming off screens and hitting open shots. And they kind of lost me in transition a couple times."

Yet, the Orange would not be denied, pulling ahead 55-53 with 11:39 left and opening up a 69-57 lead with 8:22 to play behind a 12-0 burst. Harris had two three-point plays and eight points during the run.

"I think obviously that's what we were concerned about coming in," Cornell coach Steve Donahue told the paper. "Just their ability to create havoc with their athleticism and their ability to steal."

Arinze Onuaku scored 12 points and Andy Rautins added 11 and six assists for Syracuse, which had beaten the Ivy League school by an average of 18.5 points in the previous six meetings.

However, Cornell came up with another tough effort in a 67-62 loss here on November 9, 2005.

The Big Red appeared ready for more than just scaring the Orange after shooting 47 percent (15-of-32) in the first half, including 6-of-12 on 3-pointers.

Yet, Syracuse's strong offense came alive after the intermission, going 18-of-24 (75 percent) from the field en route to notching at least 86 points for the fifth time in six games.

Onuaku had all of his points in the second half, Flynn 13 and Harris nine for the Orange, who finished with 19 assists on 28 baskets.

"I really didn't believe we were going to lose that game, no matter how much we got down," Harris told the Post-Standard. "I felt like once everybody came to their senses and we started playing together and playing more patient and playing better man defense, that we'd eventually come back."

In all, Wittman went 12-of-28 from the field, including 9-of-19 from the arc.

"That is a lot of shots," Wittman told the paper. "I wasn't necessarily trying to do that. You kind of start hitting some and you kind of start taking tougher shots. I was just trying to take what the defense gave me. They weren't necessarily defending the down screen very well and I got open a couple times."

Averaging 22.5 points on the season, Wittman's sizzling shooting should not be that much of a surprise as he is the son of former NBA player and current Minnesota Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman.