for this game

Flynn, Syracuse win shootout with No. 18 Florida

Nov 25, 2008 - 6:04 AM KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- In a contest featuring two of the best young point guards in the country, Jonny Flynn got the "W".

Flynn scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half as Syracuse recorded an early quality win with an 89-83 victory over No. 18 Florida, 89-83, in Monday's semifinals of the CBE Classic.

Paul Harris also had 18 points for the Orange (4-0), who will be aiming to return to the NCAA Tournament this season after a two-year absence. This victory should help their cause, as Syracuse went just 2-5 against ranked opponents last season.

A big reason for the high expectations this season is the presence of Flynn, who had a stellar freshman campaign for the shorthanded Orange last year.

Flynn has continued to play well this season, and Monday was no different as the 6-foot-0 star shot 5-of-7 from the field with two 3-pointers, handed out four assists and collected two steals.

Also coming off a rare subpar year, the Gators are aiming high this season because of Nick Calathes.

Converted to point guard this year after he set the school's single-season assist record as a freshman, Calathes has been impressive so far, including Monday in which he scored 19 points and handed out seven assists.

Despite the presence of those two, it was a different guard that came up big in the first half, as Andy Rautins hit five 3-pointers to score 15 points and lift Syracuse to a 41-38 lead at the break.

With neither team playing much defense, the Orange went on an 8-0 run near the start of the second half, grabbing their largest lead at 56-44 with 16:24 left.

In all, Syracuse had five players reach double-figures in points, something coach Jim Boeheim credits to the team's return to health.

"I don't think it's necessarily depth, its experience," he said. "These guys are all first-year players last year. We didn't have Andy, we didn't have Eric (Devendorf). Now they're back and it's a different team. We're more veteran guys out there."

With Florida also looking good offensively, Syracuse would go on to lead by at least 10 points on five different occasions in the second half, but saw the Gators close within 83-79 following a 3-pointer by freshman Erving Walker with 1:28 remaining.

However, Flynn stepped up to snap a string of four straight misses at the free-throw line for the Orange, converting a pair with 48 seconds left. Syracuse added four more on six attempts down the stretch to seal the win.

"Coach used the phrase 'Gut this one out,'" Flynn said. "We did whatever we could to win the game, and we came out with a big 'W' on the road."

Harris also grabbed 11 rebounds and Arinze Onuaku had 13 points and 11 boards for Syracuse, which shot 52 percent (31-of-60) from the field.

"We never let them cut it within four, we kept building the lead," Harris said. "I just kept telling (Flynn) to just keep coming, keep coming. Last year, we might have let teams come back, but that's just a sign of maturity."

The Orange will play in the championship game on Tuesday, awaiting the winner between No. 23 Kansas and Washington.

Alex Tyus had a career-high 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting for the Gators (3-1), who finished 48 percent (34-of-71) from the floor.