Both Onuaku and Rautins reached major milestones scoring more than 1,000 points in their careers. Above all the statistics, though, is what their leadership has meant to the team as it has risen to no. 1.
"You do not know what Andy and AO have been through," Scoop Jardine said. "They have been through a lot in five years here. They've both graduated. What more can you ask for? We are no.1 and they are our leaders. I'm just so happy for them. I cannot even speak about it."
SU's balanced offense registered three additional players who scored in double figures. Forwards Wesley Johnson and Chris Joseph added 13 points apiece. Mostly, Joseph did his work at the charity stripe hitting 11 of 12 free throws. Jardine pitched in with 10 points, four assists, and zero turnovers.
In the first half, Syracuse appeared to have control, racing to a 20-11 lead. The Red Storm fought back with a 9-3 run, briefly cutting SU's lead to a field goal 23-20.
But the Orange reasserted their dominance, blitzing the Red Storm with a 15-3 spurt. Onuaku dominated the paint with unstoppable post moves and dunks over an undersized Red Storm defense.
All told, SU had nine fast-break baskets. Super-subs Joseph and Jardine drove past the Red Storms listless defenders for lay-ups, and the Orange were relentless scoring down low in the post, too.
St. John's did not shoot well from the floor as they were held to eleven-for-30 and 27.3 percent from 3-point range. As a result, the Orange carried a 42-28 lead at halftime.
In the second half, St. John's kept pace with SU, but could not inch much closer. Paris Horn finished with 18 points and Dwight Hardy added 19 points.
Again, SU's offense revolved around Onuaku, who was an integral part of his team's success, making 10 of 13 shots on the night. Onuaku scored many times in the paint on dunks and on a beautiful reverse lay-up that spun the crowd into a frenzy.
In the closing minutes ,Rautins displayed a dazzling cross-over move that completely faked St. Johns guard D.J. Kennedy. Rautins drove into the lane and dished to Onuaku who completed a three- point play.
The Big East regular-season title secured, SU would close out that portion of the schedule at Louisville in the last game played at historic Freedom Hall before going to this week's Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York. On March 14, the Orange finds out whom it will face (likely as a no. 1 seed) in the NCAA Tournament.