for this game

Second-half surge lifts Syracuse past Rutgers

Mar 4, 2009 - 7:28 AM SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Paul Harris scored 18 points to lead No. 25 Syracuse to a 70-40 rout of Rutgers on Tuesday.

Rutgers led 20-19 at the second half but could not contain Syracuse after the break.

With the win, Syracuse (22-8, 10-7 Big East) moved into a tie for sixth in the conference with Providence and clinched a first-round bye in the upcoming Big East tournament.

Andy Rautins added 11 points for the Orange.

"This was Paul's best game in a long time and I thought that Arinze was really good in the second half defensively and on the boards," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "I thought that Kristof has been really good rebounding all year and tonight he looked for his offense a little bit, made it to the basket and made a couple really good plays. This was a tremendous defensive effort."

Mike Rosario scored 16 points for the Scarlet Knights (10-20, 1-16), who lost their eighth straight.

The Orange committed 10 turnovers in the first half that the Scarlet Knights turned into 10 points.

It was not the crispest basketball in the first 20 minutes as Rutgers shot 26 percent from the field (7-of-27), including 3-of-13 from the arc. Syracuse shot 30 percent (7-for-23) in its lowest scoring first half of the season.

Rutgers fared no better after the break, while Syracuse warmed up and outscored the Scarlet Knights 51-20.

Rautins hit three 3-pointers in a decisive three-minute span midway through the second half and Arinze Onuaku and Kristof Ongenaet each added 10 points.

"Our defense was good enough to hold us in there until Andy [Rautins] got a few good looks," Boeheim said. "The first look he got was off the set play, it was a hard shot, but he made it. Then he got two good looks and made them and that kind of broke the game open."