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Rautins bombs away again as Syracuse rolls

Dec 31, 2008 - 4:53 AM SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Andy Rautins did not look like a player that was in his first Big East game in more than a year and a half.

Rautins had another big day from long range, hitting seven 3-pointers as No. 11 Syracuse rolled to a 100-76 victory over Seton Hall in the conference opener for both teams Tuesday.

Playing for the first time since he tied a school record with nine 3-pointers in an 82-71 win over Coppin State on December 22, Rautins went 7-of-10 from the arc en route to 26 points.

With the second big effort, Rautins jumped his scoring average to 11.1 points as he continues to provide another outside scoring option for Syracuse a year after he missed the entire season due to a knee injury.

Eric Devendorf added three 3-pointers and scored 20 points for the Orange (13-1, 1-0 Big East).

Devendorf was making his first appearance following a two-game suspension for an incident with a female student.

Coming off the bench, the senior guard went 8-of-15 from the field and handed out five assists.

"It's tough when you miss a couple of weeks and playing in a real game," Devendorf said. "You really can't determine what is going to happen in the game. My teammates helped me a lot by getting me the ball early and getting me into the flow of things. I thank Jonny (Flynn) and Andy (Rautins) for that. Once it started rolling, it kept going. It felt good."

Despite the return of the team's second-leading scorer, Rautins stole the show, continuing his long-distance barrage.

Over his last two games, the junior Rautins has made 16-of-26 3-pointers while scoring 55 points.

"It feels pretty good," Rautins said. "The guys did a great job of getting in the lane and finding me. Transition buckets were pretty easy tonight, too. I give all the credit to my teammates for getting me those looks."

Mainly a spot-up shooter when he first came to Syracuse, coach Jim Boeheim believes that Rautins gets better looks now due to his ability to create for either himself or others off the dribble.

"He is doing a much better job of putting the ball on the floor when they pressure him, and making plays," Boeheim said. "He is fully capable of doing that. He is going to do nothing but get better."

Syracuse took control of the contest midway through the first half, going on a 19-5 run to grab a 39-23 advantage with 6:05 remaining. Devendorf connected on all three of his 3-pointers during the spurt while Rautins sank one.

Overall, the Orange went 12-of-22 from the arc.

"It was a very close game, and then we just made four or five in a row, and that is going to break anybody's back," Boeheim said. "It was just a question of that. We still made some bad turnovers. We didn't finish inside, but when you shoot that well it just changes the game."

The Orange extended the lead to 68-44 with 14:25 left in the second half on the strength of a 12-2 run. Rautins had six points during the burst, bookending it with a three-point play and a 3-pointer.

Flynn and Rick Jackson both had 14 points and Arinze Onuaku added 11 and seven rebounds for Syracuse, which shot 56.5 percent (35-of-62) in reaching 100 points in a Big East contest since a 100-76 win over Providence on February 8, 1995.

Jeremy Hazell scored 23 points for the Pirates (9-4, 0-1), who were without coach Bobby Gonzalez due to a suspension.

"Seton Hall is a good team," Boeheim said. "They have played everybody tough. It is always tough when their coach can't be here. That is always difficult. That is just one of those things."

Robert Mitchell had 22 points and 12 rebounds and Eugene Harvey scored 13 for Seton Hall, which finished 2-of-27 on 3-pointers.