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Flynn, Syracuse get another big road win at Memphis

Dec 21, 2008 - 4:00 AM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Jonny Flynn scored 24 points as 11th-ranked Syracuse claimed another big road win with a 72-65 victory over No. 21 Memphis on Saturday.

Paul Harris had 15 points and Rick Jackson added 14 for the Orange (11-1), who improved to 3-0 against ranked teams this season - all away from the Carrier Dome.

The victory was also a notable one for Syracuse, which was playing its first game without second-leading scorer Eric Devendorf. The senior guard was suspended for what could be six games on Friday for an off-campus incident with a female student.

Syracuse took control of the game just past the midway point of the second half, going on an 8-3 run to grab a 60-57 edge with 5:14 remaining. Flynn later split two free throws and converted a layup to make it 63-58 with 3:59 left.

"Jonny Flynn, this was his biggest night," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "He's struggled a little bit the last couple of games, and tonight he stepped up early and kept us in there and made a couple big plays, along with several great passes at the end."

Despite finishing 12-of-26 at the stripe, the Orange made 6-of-10 free throws in the closing 2:30 to seal the win.

Syracuse made just one of five attempts in the first half, as it rallied from a 10-point deficit to take a 35-33 lead at the break.

The Orange found themselves down 19-9 with 11:32 left in the opening half before later going on an 8-2 run. They also closed the half with a 9-0 burst, pulling ahead on Arinze Onuaku with 26 seconds left.

"I just thought our guys hung in there and they weren't going to be denied, even though they missed a lot of free throws again," Boeheim said. "We're going to go to the basket and hopefully we'll start making those free throws."

Top freshman Tyreke Evans had just five points on 2-of-9 shooting for the Tigers (6-3), who struggled with the Orange's fabled zone, shooting 34 percent (24-of-70).

"It was hard to watch," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "I was just groping to find five guys that would play.

"I was just begging guys, I told a couple guys 'I will take you out if you don't shoot', not 'if you miss I am taking you out, if you don't shoot, I am taking you out,' and they still didn't shoot. We just had to shoot jumpers."

Flynn also had six assists and Andy Rautins scored nine points for Syracuse, which has won two straight since the tough home loss to Cleveland State on a last-second heave from 60 feet out.

The sophomore Flynn helped the bad taste of the Cleveland State game go away with another big effort against a ranked foe. So far, the 6-foot point guard is averaging 22.3 points and shooting 55.5 percent (20-of-36) from the field against teams in the Top 25 this season.

With Devendorf out, Boeheim decided to go with a bigger starting lineup, inserting the 6-9 Jackson for the first time this season. The sophomore stepped up, shooting 7-of-12 from the field, grabbing seven rebounds and blocking two shots.

Harris had eight boards for Syracuse, which was still topped on the glass by a 45-36 margin.

Meanwhile, the 6-6 Evans had the first bad performance of his brief collegiate career, seeing a string of eight straight games scoring in double figures snapped.

Shawn Taggert and Doneal Mack, the second- and fourth-leading scorers for Memphis, respectively, also were searching for answers on the offensive end. They combined for 18 points on 7-of-26 from the floor.

Pierre Henderson-Niles and Roburt Sallie had 12 points each for the Tigers, who will get a chance to bounce back quick, facing Drexel on Monday.

The sophomore guard Sallie was a surprise performer after playing in just one of Memphis' last two games while failing to score.

"I thought Roburt Sallie with what he did earned some minutes," Calipari said. "Roburt maybe moved by about six guys on the team."