February 05, 2007


Orange survive


Associated Press/Kevin Rivoli
Syracuse’s Darryl Watkins (left) blocks the shot by DePaul’s Jabari Currie Saturday at the Carrier Dome.

AP Sports Writer

SYRACUSE — Eric Devendorf didn’t bring his suitcase. He brought just about everything else.
Devendorf, back in the starting lineup for the first time since the first week of December, 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.
“It felt good to get back out there, have my name announced and everything, just to get back into the rhythm,” said Devendorf, who did not score in Tuesday’s embarrassing loss to No. 21 Notre Dame. “It doesn’t really matter whether I come off the benchor not.”
It did the other night in that 103-91 debacle against the Irish. Devendorf missed all 11 of his shots from the field, his worst game in his two years at Syracuse. Against the Blue Demons, he hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key just 16 seconds into the game and finished the first half with five 3s.
DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright saw it coming.
“Whenever a young man doesn’t score in a game and he makes his first shot, especially at home, it’s like one of your in-laws coming over with a suitcase,” Wainwright said. “You know you have a long freaking week coming up. You just had that feeling.”
Andy Rautins, who had replaced Devendorf in the starting lineup over the past two months, made four from beyond the arc in the first period to help give the Orange (16-7, 5-4 Big East) to a 44-28 lead at the break.
The victory was No. 742 for head coach Jim Boeheim, 14th all-time 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.
Still, it wasn’t easy.
A week ago at Louisville, Syracuse had just one basket in the final 9:45 of the game, squandered a 14-point lead, and lost 76-71. The Blue Demons (13-11, 4-6 Big East) nearly pulled off another stunner before losing for the fourth time in five games.
Syracuse led the entire game and boosted its lead to 52-32 after a driving layup by Devendorf with 15:44 left. But DePaul refused to quit, rallying for a 15-5 run. A reverse layup by Lorenzo Thompson, a 3-pointer by Draelon Burns and a spinning jumper in the lane by Sammy Mejia brought the Demons within 57-47 midway through the period.
A three-point play by Wilson Chandler moved them within 68-60 as the Orange went cold — they shot 37.5 percent in the period after hitting for 48.5 percent in the first. Marcus Heard’s tip-in off a miss by Chandler made it 68-65 with 1:47 left as Syracuse teetered on the brink of another collapse.
“Defensively, we stepped it up,” said Mejia, who had 12 points and seven rebounds. “We gave them too many open shots in the first half. If we would have played anywhere as intense the first half as we did in the second, things probably would have been different.”
Devendorf hit a driving layup with 83 seconds remaining and converted the critical free throws in the final minute to secure the win.
Rautins hit a career-high six 3-pointers for a career-high 18 points and Devendorf tied his career high with those five 3s. Terrence Roberts had seven points and six rebounds, but Demetris Nichols, the Big East’s scoring leader, had just eight points, 11 below his average.
It was only the second time this season Nichols failed to reach double figures. In the end, it didn’t matter.
“They worried about me and Andy got wide-open shots and he knocked them down,” Nichols said. “This (win) is real important. This was our season and we knew that.”
Burns, who had a career-high 26 points in DePaul’s 66-58 win over Connecticut on Wednesday, again scored 26, Chandler had 11 points and 13 rebounds, while Karron Clarke had only six points. Clarke was 5-for-5 on 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 27 points in last year’s 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.
“We needed this one,” said Rautins, who injured a knee against Notre Dame and played only 11 minutes. “We’re going to need some momentum heading into these next couple of games.”



Red Dragon women make it 18 in a row

The SUNY Cortland women’s basketball team has grown to expect outings like this from freshman Jessica Laing.
The steady forward continues to put together ‘double-double’ performances for the SUNY Athletic Conference leaders, Laing with 19 points and 15 rebounds in Saturday’s 72-60 win over Plattsburgh.
What was a nice surprise as the Red Dragons captured their 18th consecutive win — while extending their unbeaten string on their Corey Gymnasium home floor to 34 straight games — was the play of back-up forward Erin Dabe.
A 5-foot-9 senior out of Newfield High, Dabe contributed a season high eight points and grabbed six rebounds as the Red Dragons improved to 11-0 in conference play and 18-1 overall.
Dabe’s biggest basket came with Cortland in front by a 46-40 margin in the second half. After both teams went scoreless for a three-minute stretch, Dabe drained her first 3-point shot of the season with 11:28 left to play.
The Red Dragons went on to build a 65-47 lead when Laing made a pair of free throws with 5:31 remaining. Though Plattsburgh pulled to within nine in the final minute, the Cardinals got no closer.
Cortland senior guard Kerry Costello added 14 points and five assists for Cortland, while junior forward Sara Cavanaugh netted 12 points and blocked three shots.
Plattsburgh junior Detina Santiago kept the visitors close, coming off the bench to score a career-high 29 points including making 12-of-13 free throws. She added six rebounds and three steals for the Cardinals, now 3-9 in the conference and 5-14 overall.



SUNY’s Kimball matches pole vault mark

NEW YORK CITY — Sophomore Sarah Kimball matched her own SUNY Cortland school record in the pole vault at the New Balance Collegiate Invitational, held at the NYC Armory.
Kimball tied for 12th in the event by clearing 10-10, tying the record she set in December at the Cornell Relays. The height is an ECAC Division III Championship qualifier.
Other competitors for the Red Dragons reaching ECAC standards included freshman Fawn Dorr in the 400 meters (59.90) and freshman Kristen Serikstad in the high jump (5-2.25).
Three Cortland men turned in NCAA provisional qualifying efforts in the 5,000 meters at the meet.
Senior C. Fred Joslyn finished fourth in the race in 14:35.24, placing ahead of 11 Division I runners. His time missed the NCAA automatic qualifying standard by less than one second. Sophomore Shamus Nally finished ninth (14:47.45) and freshman Seth DuBois was 10th (14:52.52).
Junior Amaan Siddeeq tied for 28th in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.96 seconds, which is a provisional NCAA qualifier. Sophomore Jake Zanetti tied for 16th in the pole vault with an ECAC championship-qualifying height of 14’ 9” and junior James Barracca placed 30th in the mile with an ECAC time of 4:18.91.
ON FRIDAY at the Syracuse Invitational at Manley Field House, sophomore Vinny Krutchick and senior Matt Carpenter captured the top two spots in the shot put for Cortland.
Krutchick finished first out of 15 competitors with a distance of 46-7.25, just ahead of Carpenter’s 46-3.5.
Junior Kevin Ma qualified for the ECAC Division III Championships with his third-place time of 6.55 seconds in the 55-meter dash.  Senior Jon Walters was third (52.39) and senior Rue Thompson fourth (52.84) in the 400-meter run.
Former Homer Central runner Josh Henry, a sophomore, was third in the mile run in 4:31.11 with teammates Ken Little in fourth and Paul Fior in fifth. Freshman Durrell Reed and freshman Noah Rappahahn placed third and fourth respectively, in the 55-meter hurdles, with Rappahahn also fourth in the high jump.
Freshman Jerry Greenlaw took second in the 5,000 meters in 16:12.65, with freshman Justin Wager third in the event in 16:48.31.