Syracuse 75, DePaul 69
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP)—Eric Devendorf scored a career-high 27 points, including four free throws in the final 35 seconds, and Syracuse beat DePaul 75-69 on Saturday to halt a three-game losing streak.
Syracuse (16-7, 5-4 Big East) rebounded after being humbled 103-91 by No. 21 Notre Dame on Tuesday night. DePaul (13-11, 4-6 Big East) lost for the fourth time in five games.
The win was No. 742 in head coach Jim Boeheim’s 31-year career at Syracuse, breaking a tie with former Temple coach John Chaney for 14th on the all-time list in Division I. It also avenged an embarrassing 108-69 loss last year to DePaul, which made 16 3-pointers in handing the Orange the worst defeat of Boeheim’s Hall of Fame career.
Andy Rautins hit a career-high six 3-pointers for a career-high 18 points and Devendorf tied his career high with five 3s. Terrence Roberts had seven points and six rebounds, and Demetris Nichols had eight points.
Draelon Burns, who had a career-high 26 points in DePaul’s 66-58 win over Connecticut on Wednesday, again scored 26, Wilson Chandler had 11 points and 13 rebounds, and Sammy Mejia had 12 points and seven rebounds. Karron Clarke, who was 5-for-5 on 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 27 points in last year’s win, had six points.
Devendorf, who started for the first time in 14 games, went 5-for-7 from beyond the arc and had 17 points and four assists in the first half as Syracuse built a 16-point lead. In the loss to No. 21 Notre Dame on Tuesday night, Devendorf missed all 11 of his shots from the field and did not score.
Syracuse led the whole game and boosted its lead to 52-32 on a driving layup by Devendorf with 15:44 left in the game.
But DePaul refused to quit, rallying with a 15-5 run. A reverse layup by Lorenzo Thompson, a 3-pointer by Burns and a spinning jumper in the lane by Mejia brought DePaul within 57-47 midway through the period.
A three-point play by Chandler moved the Blue Demons within 68-60 as the Orange went cold and Marcus Heard’s tip-in off a miss by Chandler made it 68-65 with 1:47 left as Syracuse teetered on another collapse.
But Devendorf hit a driving layup with 83 seconds remaining and converted the critical free throws in the final minute to secure the win.
In the first eight minutes of the game, DePaul committed five turnovers, went 0-for-5 on 3-pointers and 3-for-12 from the floor as the Blue Demons struggled to find openings in Syracuse’s 2-3 zone defense.
That was a real turnaround from the loss to the Irish, who made 10 of their final 14 3-pointers in the first half, hitting wide-open shot after wide-open shot to take a commanding 19-point lead at the break.
With Devendorf and Rautins leading the way, Syracuse went 9-for-17 from long range in the first half and led 44-28 at the break despite only two points from Nichols, the Big East’s leading scorer at 19 points per game.
After consecutive 3-pointers by Mejia and Draelon Burns had the Demons within 27-22 at 6:08, Devendorf began the Syracuse 13-2 surge that took less than three minutes, hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the key. He then assisted on consecutive baskets by Roberts and Watkins and hit another 3 before Rautins finished the run with a 3-pointer from right wing to give Syracuse a 40-24 lead.