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Rautins, Syracuse keep good times going in Big East play

Jan 8, 2009 - 6:02 AM SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Another great shooting effort by Andy Rautins equaled another lopsided league win for Syracuse.

Rautins scored 17 points to lead six players in double figures as ninth-ranked Syracuse captured an 85-68 victory over DePaul in the Big East on Wednesday.

Paul Harris and Arinze Onuaku had 14 points apiece for the Orange (15-1, 3-0 Big East), who won their sixth straight contest.

Syracuse has won its first three league games for the first time since the 2005-06 season. Next up will be a two-game road trip to Rutgers and Georgetown.

"The schedule is what it is," Orange coach Jim Boeheim said. "I'd say were probably playing the toughest schedule in the Big East. We did start out a little easy, but that will all change. There is no game that's too easy, you just have to gear up and try to play every game and see what happens. Over the 18 games in the league, we've got all we need to have."

Rautins knocked down three 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the opening half as Syracuse raced to a 20-10 lead less than nine minutes in and extended it to 47-31 at the break.

The Orange continued to play big after intermission, going ahead 71-50 on Onuaku's layup with 8:18 remaining.

The junior Rautins finished 5-of-10 from the arc, giving him 25 3-pointers on 57 percent shooting over the last four games.

"We're gonna just ride this out," Jonny Flynn said of Rautins' hot stretch. "Whenever he's like this, we're going to just keep trying to get him the ball."

While Rautins bombed away outside, Harris and Onuaku controlled the play inside.

Playing for the first time in two games due to a hand injury, the junior Harris went 6-of-12 from the floor, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked four shots.

"He has a physical presence that I think lifts his teammates," DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright said. "He gets an awful lot done. He knows his role.

"He healed up at the wrong time for us, that's for sure."

Harris reached a milestone with 14:23 left in the second half, converting a layup for 1,000 career points. He became the 50th player in school history to reach the mark.

"It felt real good," Harris said.

Onuaku made 7-of-11 shots and pulled down 12 boards, helping Syracuse finish with a 48-39 advantage on the glass.

Flynn had 12 points and eight assists and Eric Devendorf scored 13 off the bench for the Orange, who shot 47 percent (33-of-70) from the field with eight 3-pointers.

Dar Tucker had 18 points and Mac Koshwal added 12 and 13 rebounds for the Blue Demons (8-8, 0-3), who have lost eight of their last 12.