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Flynn, Syracuse continue mastery of Rutgers

Jan 11, 2009 - 5:25 AM PISCATAWAY, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Jonny Flynn can do it all, even come up with a highlight-reel dunk.

Flynn had 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds as ninth-ranked Syracuse used a second-half run to top Rutgers, 82-66, in a Big East matchup on Saturday.

Paul Harris scored a season-high 26 points and Arinze Onuaku added 19 for the Orange (16-1, 4-0 Big East), who beat the Scarlet Knights for the eighth straight time.

Winning for the seventh straight time overall, Syracuse notched its second-best start through 16 games under longtime coach Jim Boeheim. The Orange began 16-0 in 1999-2000.

Holding a 39-38 edge after an offensively-loaded first half, Syracuse began to create some separation a few minutes after the break, going on a 14-7 run to take a 57-48 lead with 12:02 remaining.

Toward the end of that run, Flynn came up with the play of the day, swooping in from the left wing and hammering home a one-handed dunk over freshman Mike Rosario to make it 54-48 with 12:33 to play.

"We were in good position, and that was a play that got us excited," Boeheim said. "He really made some good plays for us tonight. He made some really good passes, some great decisions and no turnovers. He was really good tonight."

The play drew the ire of Rutgers coach Fred Hill, who thought a foul should have been called either way. However, Hill was whistled for a technical.

"I thought there was a foul and it's either a block or a charge, so blow the whistle," Hill said. "One way or the other, just blow the whistle. I just was upset that there was no call there.

"I was trying to get my guys fired up, we were right in the game, I wanted to keep them focused. But that was a big play when they go down and get a dunk on what potentially was a charge or may have been a block. It could have been a three-point play, but you just expect a whistle when you have a tough block/charge call like that, you just expect a whistle. And that's all I wanted, was a whistle, one way or the other."

Eric Devendorf split the two technical foul shots and converted a layup on the ensuing possession to extend the lead to nine points.

The Scarlet Knights got no closer than seven points thereafter.

Behind Harris, the Orange sizzled after halftime, shooting 70 percent (16-of-23).

Syracuse made 12 straight shots at one point, a streak that included an impressive layup by Harris in transition for a 69-57 lead with 7:35 left.

The junior small forward grabbed the defensive rebound, got the ball to Flynn and raced down the left wing before getting the ball back and hitting a layup while sliding around a defender that was attempting to take a charge.

The Orange finished with 12 fast-break points.

"Their transition game is something to talk about," Hill said. "Again, it wasn't that they started taking care of the boards as much as it was that we started missing a lot of shots. There was a lot of rebounding opportunities.

"In the second half, we shot 28.6 percent. So there were a lot more rebounding opportunities which lead to run-outs and easy baskets for them."

Overall, Harris finished 11-of-13 from the field and grabbed six boards.

"If Paul plays like he did tonight, he's really going to be a tremendous player," Boeheim said. "He has really been playing pretty good. Tonight he was able to take what was there. When they left him open, he was able to hit a couple 15-footers. When they pressed up on him, he was able to drive by them and make plays."

Anthony Farmer scored 17 points and Rosario added 15 for the Scarlet Knights (9-8, 0-4), who were facing their fifth straight ranked opponent, including fourth within conference.

It really was a difference of two halves for Rutgers, which went toe-to-toe with Syracuse in the first half, shooting 50 percent (15-of-30).

It struggled thereafter, going 8-of-28 from the field and 2-of-13 on 3-pointers.

"I thought that we did a better job of finding their shooters in the second half," Boeheim said. "Rosario, (Corey) Chandler, and Farmer can all shoot it. We did a better of job of finding them in the second half and we still were able to cover up the inside."

One of the Big East's top scorers at 17.6 points coming in, Rosario was held to just three after leading the Scarlet Knights with 12 points in the opening 20 minutes.