Eh. What can really be said about this game? Syracuse built a 17-point halftime lead, having more to do with Rutgers' futility than Syracuse's skill, and then mailed it in in the second half. The final score was Syracuse by 16, 81-65.
Andy Rautins was the big man of the night for the Orange. He had 23 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, all season-highs. It's good to see Rautins is breaking out of his slump as they will need him now that Big East play is heating up. Wes Johnson on the other hand, had one of his worst games of the season. He shot four of 11 and had just 10 points. It was just the third game this season he's shot under 50 percent from the field.
In the first half Rutgers couldn't get anything going offensively. They had horrible ball movement and couldn't knock down a shot against the zone. Mike Rosario was one for eight in the first half but turned it around in the second. He and Dane Miller combined to go on a 20-5 run to pull the Scarlet Knights to within eight points at 53-45. But Rautins hit a few clutch shots and Syracuse widened the lead back to a comfortable margin.
Syracuse didn't play well but they're just a much better team than Rutgers. Rutgers would have needed to play their best game of the season to beat them and it didn't happen. Hopefully, Syracuse will bring more focus and intensity to Morgantown as they face the tenth-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers on Saturday.
Game Notes: Mookie Jones provided a nice spark off the bench. He had 11 points including three of six shooting from three-point range. Neither Kris Joseph or Rick Jackson played many minutes. I'm not sure if they're in Boeheim's doghouse or what but it's something to keep an eye out for on Saturday.
New Rule: Andy Rautins isn't allowed to throw one-handed passes any more. I swear half his turnovers are on one-handed passes. Stick with the fundamentals, Andy.