Feb. 14, 2009

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -Syracuse stopped its slide and kept Big East rival Georgetown headed in the wrong direction.

Jonny Flynn and Eric Devendorf combined for 48 points, including 14 in overtime, and No. 23 Syracuse beat Georgetown 98-94 on Saturday.

It was a game both teams needed. Since a 88-74 win over Syracuse a month ago, Georgetown (13-10, 4-8 Big East) had dropped six of seven to fall out of the national rankings. The Orange (19-7, 7-6) had lost five of seven, including 64-49 at top-ranked Connecticut on Wednesday night.

"What can you say? We played hard," said Syracuse center Arinze Onuaku, who had 15 points and 13 rebounds for his first double-double in more than a month. "We thought we had it. Then they hit a couple of big shots. This is the type of game we've come to expect."

A year ago, Syracuse led Pittsburgh by 11 points with 3:49 left and lost 82-77 in a Carrier Dome that fell eerily silent. On Saturday, with 31,841 orange-clad fans roaring approval, the Orange displayed a good dose of resolve after allowing the Hoyas to rally from a 16-point deficit in the final 8:11 of regulation to tie the game at 83.

After Flynn's turnover cost Syracuse a chance to win it in regulation and DaJuan Summers was just short on a potential winning shot from the top of the key, Flynn and Devendorf took charge in overtime.

"We talked about grinding it out, especially against a team like Georgetown," said Devendorf, who made five 3-pointers. "We definitely needed this one. This gets the chip off our back."

Flynn finished with 25 points and a career-high 13 assists, and Devendorf added 23 points. Andy Rautins and Rick Jackson each added 13 points for Syracuse.

Chris Wright had 25 points before fouling out in the extra session to lead Georgetown. Austin Freeman added 19 points, DaJuan Summers 17, and Greg Monroe had 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Georgetown seemed down and out after Devendorf's 3-pointer gave Syracuse a 66-50 lead with 8:11 left.

But the Hoyas then staged a stirring rally fitting of the intense rivalry between the schools and Syracuse wilted in the final 2:11 as Summers and Wright each hit a pair of 3s.

Jackson missed one of two free throws with 23 seconds left and Wright swished a 3 to tie it at 83-all with 10.7 seconds remaining before Flynn threw the ball out of bounds.

"I was so zoned out. I was thinking I didn't want this to be another Pitt game," Flynn said. "Everything was just a blur to me. I was just thinking about what I needed to do to win the game."

In overtime, Devendorf hit a pair of 3-pointers, the second coming after Freeman's jumper in the lane had given the Hoyas an 89-88 lead with 2:13 left. A pair of free throws by Flynn made it 93-89 with 49.8 seconds to go as Georgetown couldn't find another opening from long range.

Devendorf then converted an easy fast-break layup off a long inbounds pass from Paul Harris to make it 96-92 with 17.2 seconds remaining. Monroe followed with a layup to cut the margin to a basket before Flynn converted two free throws with 6.8 seconds on the clock to secure the triumph.

"Obviously, this is a difficult stretch," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "But I think we played today. We weren't tentative. We didn't win, but our guys played in a way to put us in a position to win. We competed. We played hard. We hung in there. We scrapped."

Leading 33-32 at halftime, Syracuse scored the first nine points of the second half to forge a double-digit lead the Hoyas struggled to overcome. But they never stopped trying.

"I strongly believed that we were going to win this game," said Wright, who fouled out in the final minute. "It was tough. Some balls didn't bounce our way. Sometimes, things aren't going to bounce your way. If we made a few more plays, that would have been our game."

Flynn was a nonfactor in the opening half until leading the Orange back from a seven-point deficit in the final four minutes. After converting a pair of free throws with 3:33 left for his first points of the game, Flynn came right back to convert a three-point play and then fed Jackson for a lay-in that gave Syracuse its one-point lead at the break.

Rautins kept the Orange close in the opening period by scoring 11 straight points, including three 3-pointers from the left wing in a span of just over two minutes.

The Orange lost a key reserve when Kristof Ongenaet was ejected with 7:54 remaining in the first half after Summers was elbowed in the back of the head during a scramble for a rebound under the Syracuse basket. Summers went sprawling to the floor and lay there for nearly a minute before heading to the bench.