Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

January 2, 2013

Boeheim passes Knight as Syracuse beats Rutgers

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Jim Boeheim notched his 903rd career victory, breaking a tie with Bob Knight for second all-time among Division I men’s coaches, and No. 7 Syracuse rolled past Rutgers 78-53 on Wednesday night in the Big East opener for both teams.

Boeheim, in his 37th season at his alma mater, trails only Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, who has 940 victories.

Syracuse (13-1, 1-0) has won 33 straight home games, the longest active streak in the nation, and has beaten Rutgers (9-3, 0-1) 13 straight times. The Orange’s last home loss was to Georgetown, 64-56, on Feb. 9, 2011.

Brandon Triche had a season-high 25 points, hitting 5 of 7 3-point attempts, and added six assists to lead Syracuse. Michael Carter-Williams finished with 12 points and 10 assists, his eighth double-double, and C.J. Fair had 15 points and three blocks.

Eli Carter led Rutgers with 19 points and Myles Mack, who entered the game averaging 14.5 points, did not score and was 0 of 3 from behind the arc. He entered the game leading the Big East at 51.2 percent from 3-point range.

The Scarlet Knights had won five straight but were no match for Syracuse in coach Mike Rice’s first game back after a three-game, 16-day suspension for inappropriate behavior and language. Rutgers went 3-0 under associate head coach David Cox, capped by a 68-56 win over Rider on Friday.

Rice was suspended without pay and fined $50,000 on Dec. 13 for a violation of athletic department policy. Rice, 43, who returned to the team on Saturday, is in his third season at Rutgers. A former guard at Fordham, Rice came to Rutgers from Robert Morris, where he took the Colonials to the NCAA tournament twice.

Rutgers had defeated three top 10 teams at home under Rice, but the program has never accomplished the feat on the road. Syracuse won the game with a 21-0 run over the final 6:42 of the first half to break open what had been a tight game.

Carter’s runner in the lane at 8:07 gave Rutgers its only lead at 20-18, but it was the final basket of the period for the Scarlet Knights. They missed seven shots, committed three fouls and had two shots blocked as the Orange ran away.

Fair followed his own miss to start the Orange surge and consecutive baskets by Carter-Williams, the second a pretty underhanded scoop with reverse spin, gave Syracuse an eight-point lead.

Triche’s fast-break layup after a block by Fair and a bank shot off the glass by Rakeem Christmas kept the Orange rolling, and James Southerland’s transition 3 made it 35-20 with 2:22 to play.

Triche’s lob to Southerland completed the run as Syracuse finished the half 14 of 29 (48.3 percent) from the field while holding Rutgers to 8 of 29 (27.6 percent). About the only mistake the Orange made was Christmas’s turnover out of bounds in the final seconds as Syracuse tried to hold for the final shot.

At the outset, the game had the makings of a barnburner. Triche hit three 3-pointers in the first 6 minutes of play, all off assists by Carter-Williams as the Orange gained an early lead. But Carter kept pace with three 3s and another 3 from the wing by Jerome Seagears tied it at 16.

The score was tied four times before Syracuse took control.

Both teams are leaving the conference, Syracuse after the season for the Atlantic Coast Conference and Rutgers for the Big Ten at a date that’s still to be determined.

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