Syracuse and Providence rally in a shootout from the 3-point line

It was an offensive battle against the Friars on Tuesday night, but the Orange defense came out on top.

Led by Rick Jackson and Andy Rautins in a rallying, offensive shootout against Providence on Tuesday night, the No. 4 Syracuse Orange shut it down in a 99-85 win. Both players scored 28-points, a season-high for Rautins and a new career-high for Jackson.

The Orange recovered from an eight-point deficit to beat the feisty Friars and reach their highest point total in the Big East this season. The win also earned them a double-bye into the quarterfinals of the upcoming Big East tournament.

Although Providence was consistently tearing it up outside the arc from the start, Syracuse still held a steady lead in the beginning of the game. SU knew their host was an excellent shooting team, but no one expected the 10 of 19 3-pointers that were to come in the first half alone. The Friars emerged from their deficit with a 7-0 run, which turned into 21-15 run in their favor – enough to take the lead.

Going into halftime, Cuse was down 52-47. After Providence hit 55-47, the game turned around. Now it was time to stop the Friars and bring the Orange defense into full force. Syracuse made a fierce comeback in those first few minutes of the second half, creeping up on the Friars until the game was tied at 55-55.

Re-establishing the 10-point + lead for Syracuse, Kris Joseph scored a two point jumper, then followed by Rautins with a dunk and a 3-pointer. The Orange soared through a 26-2 run, bringing the score to 73-57, Syracuse.

The boys kept up the pace from there on out. Rautins’ sixth straight triple in the 2nd half sealed the win at 99-85. He was killing it from outside the arc all night, making 8 3-pointers in the game. The defeat over Providence maintained SU’s perfect record on the road this season, 8-0.

Throughout the entire game, the big men dominated inside, yet again. Arinze Onuaku and Rick Jackson were constantly getting the ball, always under the basket when they needed to be. Onuaku opened the game, then Jackson took over and finished it off. In SU’s 12-3 start to the second half, the two of them were in the action on every play.

Although not as noticeable as usual, Wes Johnson had a valuable presence on Tuesday night. He may not have been the top-scorer or player of the game, but with 10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 5 steals, and 3 blocks, he was the quietly productive player for the Orange, and a key to their success.

Syracuse shot 56% against Providence’s defense, or complete lack there of. They put together a great run to start the second half and held up their excellent defense in the zone. In that half, the Orange outscored Providence 52-31 and shot 62% from the field. The Orange transitioned extremely well all night, playing an impressive offensive game.

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