By the time St. John's showed up for last night' game in the 2nd half, it was pretty much a done deal. Syracuse used a 39-18 halftime advantage to set the tone in the 2nd half and cruise to a 87-58 victory. You know it's that kind of a game when Brandon Reese, Jake Presutti and Sean Williams all show up on the stat sheet.
The win gives the Orange 20 wins, which for those keeping track, is kindof a big deal for Jim Boeheim:
The win was the 20th of the season for the Orange, giving Boeheim his 31st 20-win season. He now has more 20-win seasons than any other coach in NCAA Division I history. Boeheim had been previously tied with North Carolina legend Dean Smith with 30 20-win seasons. Bob Knight and Lute Olson each have 29 seasons of at least 20 wins.
Naturally, Boeheim underplayed the whole thing:
“I remember thinking when I started coaching that Adolph Rupp had 876 wins and I thought that’s 20 wins a year for 40 years and I’m only going to last 10,” said the Hall of Fame coach who picked up win No. 791 in his 33rd season as a head coach. “At least I’ve lasted more than 10.”
It was an Cusian affair in the Garden (not Carneseca Arena, ESPN...) where the crowd was overtaken by the folks in Orange. There was even a very specific moment when it could not be denied by anyone in Red, not even the players:
It came with 11:41 left and Syracuse (20-8, 8-7 Big East) leading 56-32. The nationally-ranked St. John's dance team had just tossed free 6th-Man T-shirts into the stands when one was hurled back onto the court. Then back came a second shirt.
"I guess there are Syracuse fans everywhere," said Boothe. "They just came out to support them, on our homecourt. That's all I can say about it."
We're a classy bunch, what can I say.
At the end of the day, it was exactly what Syracuse need. A tasty cupcake. Jonny Flynn found his touch and regained some of the luster he's lost in recent weeks. He finished with 21 points and 8 assists.
Arinze had a nice night on the offensive side of the ball, scoring 14 on 7-8 FG shooting (0-3 from the line alas). But his 6 rebounds were offset by 6 turnovers, and as Axe points out, he still looked to be fighting off the effects of his knee injury at times.
As mentioned earlier, St. John's was like the village bicycle...everyone got a ride (Austin Powers references, you guys!). Brandon Reese and Jake Presutti both got to put some points on the board (2 and 3, respectively). Ailing Kris Joseph even got to put a couple minutes in on the floor, scoring 4 points. Sean Williams was unable to get on the scoreboard unfortunately, as was Kristof! (WTF?).
Some more wrap-ups and notes below. The Orange look to keep up the good vibes and inch back into the rankings when they take on a frisky Cincy on Sunday, March 1st.
- The Orange Segment breaks down the game.
- Some post-game interviews from the D.O. Sports Blog
- The SU Basketball Team does it's best showgirl impression