SYRACUSE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — James Southerland scored 13 points in his first appearance in seven games, C.J. Fair had 17 points and nine rebounds and No. 9 Syracuse beat St. John’s 77-58 on Sunday.
It was the 37th straight win in the Carrier Dome for the Orange (20-3, 8-2 Big East), extending the nation’s longest active home streak in Division I. The win also gave coach Jim Boeheim his 35th season with 20 or more victories. Boeheim holds the NCAA record in that category.
St. John’s coach Steve Lavin missed the game due to the overnight death of his 82-year-old father, Cap, leaving the reins to assistant coach Rico Hines. Lavin informed his coaching staff around 9 a.m. and then flew to New York City.
St. John’s (15-9, 7-5) had won six of seven, the only loss coming last week at Georgetown, and was 2-2 against ranked teams this season.
Southerland, a senior forward, missed the previous six games due to an eligibility issue regarding academics. He was restored to the lineup before the game and played 26 minutes, going 4 of 10 from the floor, 3 of 7 on 3-pointers.
Michael Carter-Williams had 17 points, eight assists and a career-high six steals and Brandon Triche had 16 points and matched his career high with seven assists as the Orange backcourt excelled.
Freshman JaKarr Sampson had 21 points to lead St. John’s, D’Angelo Harrison had 13 on 4-of-13 shooting, and Phil Greene 10. Chris Obekpa, second nationally with 101 blocks, finished with one to go with seven points and five rebounds.
After trailing the entire first half, twice by 15 points, the Red Storm rallied early in the second. Harrison drained a pair of 3s in the opening minutes and pulled St. John’s to 43-34 with an off-balance attempt from the top of the key as the shot clock buzzer sounded at 16:08.
After Southerland’s slam dunk in transition, St. John’s went on a 9-2 run. A corner 3 by Marco Bourgault, his only make of the game, and two straight baskets in close by Obekpa pulled the Red Storm to 48-43 with 11:45 remaining.
Fair halted the spurt with a baseline runner and Southerland’s pretty behind-the-back feed to Triche for a dunk in transition got the Orange rolling again.
Southerland then hit two 3s from the top of the key in a 64-second span as the crowd roared and Syracuse had restored its 13-point halftime lead. St. John’s never got closer than eight points in the final 8 minutes.
The Orange hit 10 of 22 from behind the arc and held the Red Storm to 5 of 22 from long range.
Syracuse was 14 of 28 from the floor, 5 of 11 from long range, and held the Red Storm to 8-of-24 shooting and 2 of 11 from behind the arc in building a 37-24 halftime lead.
Syracuse had seven steals in the period and built a double-digit lead midway through. Triche’s 3-pointer and Baye Moussa Keita’s basket on a goaltending call against Obepka gave Syracuse a 21-10 lead at 10:28 and St. John’s never moved closer than 10 points the remainder of the half.
A reverse layup by Grant and Fair’s second 3-pointer from the left corner gave the Orange a 32-17 lead with 5:53 to go.
Harrison was 0 for 3 from behind the arc.
Fair elicited the biggest cheer from the crowd when his resounding one-handed slam dunk was nullified by a charge with just under 2 minutes to play in the half.
The Red Storm will travel to Louisville to take on the Cardinals on Thursday, Feb. 14.
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