Orange has playmakers

Posted: February 20, 2012

THERE'S NO LIST on any bulletin board designating which Syracuse player should be the one to make the big play.

The second-ranked Orange is comfortable with its depth and lack of star power and they looked that way in a 74-64 victory at Rutgers yesterday.

"This team's made plays when games have been close late," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "Veteran guys make plays. Everybody's said all along, 'OK, who's going to make plays?' We got a lot of guys who makes plays. I think that's going to be a good thing. It has been a good thing for us and that's why we're where we're at, different guys can make plays."

C.J. Fair scored a career-high 21 points and Scoop Jardine added 17, including a dagger three-pointer with 1 minute, 11 seconds to play.

"I've done that a couple of times in my career," Neumann-Goretti graduate Jardine said with a wink. "It's doing what you know you should. I was driving all game so he was backing off me and I got some space and had the confidence to knock it in."

"He made a couple of big shots," Fair said.

The Orange (27-1, 14-1 Big East) have seven players averaging between 14.0 and 7.0 points.

Rutgers (12-15, 4-10) was led by Gilvydas Biruta, who matched his career high with 21 points.

In other games * 

At Purdue, Draymond Green had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 7 Michigan State (22-5, 11-3 Big Ten) past Purdue (17-10, 7-7), 76-62. Robbie Hummel scored 24 points for Purdue.

* At Boston College, Seth Curry scored 18 points and No. 5 Duke (23-4, 10-2 ACC) cruised to a 75-50 win over Boston College (8-19, 3-10) behind a smothering defense.

* At Wisconsin, Josh Gasser scored 15 points and No. 15 Wisconsin (20-7, 9-5 Big ten) held off Penn State (12-16, 4-11), 65-55. Tim Frazier scored 20 points for the Nittany Lions.

* At Pittsburgh, Anthony Collins scored a career-high 22 points to lead South Florida (17-10, 10-4, Big East) to a 56-47 win over Pitt. The victory guaranteed a winning record in Big East play for the Bulls for the first time since joining the conference in 2005. J.J. Moore scored a career-high 21 points for the Panthers.

* At Iowa, Hawkeyes senior Matt Gaten scored a career-high 30 points and Iowa (14-13, 6-8 Big Ten) beat No. 18 Indiana (20-7, 8-7), 78-66. Freshman Cody Zeller had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Indiana.

* At Georgia, John Jenkins scored 28 points and Vanderbilt (19-8, 8-4 SEC) overcame a sluggish first half to defeat Georgia (12-14, 3-9), 61-52. Vanderbilt's performance was in stark contrast to its last game, a 102-76 victory at Mississippi in which the Commodores' point total was their highest in an SEC road game since 1969.

In a women's game * 

At Maryland, Tianna Hawkins scored 19 points and No. 8 Maryland (23-5, 10-4 ACC) defeated fifth-ranked Duke (22-4, 13-1), 63-61, ending the Blue Devils' bid to go unbeaten in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The game drew a crowd of 15,150.

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