South Florida Falls Short At Syracuse 57-63

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Reserves Louie McCroskey and Andy Rautins were just doing what's expected Sunday when they came off the bench to combine for 20 points and spark a misfiring Syracuse to its 10th straight victory, a 63-57 Big East Conference win over South Florida.

"You have to have a different mentality coming off the bench. You need to be productive with your minutes when you get to play, and the only way to do that is be ready," said McCroskey, a junior who lost his starting position earlier this year.

McCroskey's steal and breakaway layup with 6:47 to play gave Syracuse (13-2, 1-0) its biggest lead, 57-39. McCroskey finished with 10 points, a career-high nine rebounds, four assists and three steals in 25 minutes, while Rautins, a freshman, added a career-best 10 points in 15 minutes, hitting 3-of-5 from 3-point range.

"Louis especially gave us a big lift," said  Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim.

"It's good to have different guys with different games. We have guys who can come in and do different things," said Gerry McNamara, who led Syracuse with 12 points. "But it's what we expect them to do."

Rautins agreed. "Everybody is important off the bench. It's a big plus when we can give the starters a rest," said Rautins, who did not play in Syracuse's last two games.

South Florida (6-9, 0-2) closed the game with an 18-6 run, holding Syracuse to a single field goal - Eric Devendorf's driving basket with 1:59 to go - over the final 6:47.  Syracuse sank four of six from the foul line to help fend off the Bulls' comeback.

James Holmes led South Florida with 23 points, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range. Solomon Jones added 14 for the Bulls, who lost their third in a row.

"I'm not real happy, if you can't tell," said Boeheim, who was disturbed by his team's 19 turnovers and 37 percent shooting.

Terrence Roberts added 11 points and 10 rebounds for Syracuse, while center Darryl Watkins also snatched 10 rebounds.

"We're making poor decisions and not doing a good job of getting our offense in rhythm and getting the ball to our shooters," Boeheim said.

South Florida coach Robert McCullum said his team has been plagued all year by turnovers, and it was again Sunday, matching its per game average with 22 miscues. The Bulls also were outrebounded on the offensive boards 18-9.

After struggling through the first nine minutes of the game Syracuse used a full court zone press to trigger a 13-0 run that gave the Orange a 21-11 cushion with 8:04 to play in the half. Jones stopped the run with a short jumper 20 seconds later.

The three-minute spurt started when McCroskey rebounded his own missed free throw and saved it to McNamara, who sank a 3-pointer from the left corner. McCroskey had six points, five rebounds and a pair of assists in the first half.

McNamara added another 3-pointer during the run and Demetrius Nichols scored three baskets in transition as the Orange took advantage of five Bulls' turnovers during that span.

Game Leaders

South Florida
James Holmes
PPG Reb Asst FG% Min
23 5 3 .538 39
Syracuse
Gerry McNamara
PPG Reb Asst FG% Min
12 2 3 .333 38
South Florida Syracuse
Assists C Capko 5 L McCroskey 4
Rebounds S Jones 6 T Roberts 10
Steals J Holmes 4 T Roberts 4
Blocks S Jones 2 T Roberts 1
Minutes M Buckley 39 T Roberts 38

Box Score

South Florida Starters
Name Min FG 3PT FT Reb Asst PF Pts
J Holmes, G 39 7-13 5-8 4-6 5 3 2 23
S Jones, C 39 5-10 0-0 4-4 6 1 4 14
M Buckley, F 39 4-11 0-6 2-2 5 2 2 10
M Richardson, F 12 1-2 0-0 0-2 3 0 1 2
C Capko, G 38 0-3 0-1 0-0 2 5 5 0
South Florida Bench
Name Min FG 3PT FT Reb Asst PF Pts
M Mattis 31 3-6 0-0 2-5 5 0 3 8
F Markusovic 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
R Prophete 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0
Syracuse Starters
Name Min FG 3PT FT Reb Asst PF Pts
G McNamara, G 38 3-9 2-6 4-6 2 3 0 12
T Roberts, F 38 2-5 0-0 7-12 10 1 3 11
D Nichols, F 28 4-10 0-2 1-2 2 3 4 9
E Devendorf, G 22 3-7 1-4 0-1 1 1 3 7
D Watkins, C 21 0-4 0-0 0-0 10 0 5 0
Syracuse Bench
Name Min FG 3PT FT Reb Asst PF Pts
A Rautins 15 3-6 3-5 1-2 1 1 0 10
L McCroskey 25 4-9 0-1 2-3 9 4 1 10
A Onuaku 10 1-2 0-0 2-3 3 0 1 4
J Wright 3 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0

Next Game

South Florida
Date Time Team
1/14 7:00 pm St.John's
Syracuse
Date Time Team
1/11 7:00 pm Notre Dame

 


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