SU smashes DePaul, roars into Big East Tournament

It was not the most attractive game on paper - and it proved even more lopsided on the court, just as the Syracuse men's basketball team wanted.

With the stakes huge for the Orange, it took care of DePaul Saturday at the Carrier Dome in front of 28,145 festive patrons. SU ended the regular season by overwhelming the Blue Demons 107-59. The no. 12-ranked Orange is the hottest team going in the Big East, winning five straight games and seven out of nine overall.

Finishing in a tie with Louisville for third place in the conference behind Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, the Orange was rewarded with a double-bye for the Big East Tournament at New York's Madison Square Garden, going straight into the quarterfinal round on Thursday afternoon.

After the Blue Demons made their first basket the Orange proceeded to dominate the rest of the way, delivering three large scoring runs. Syracuse was never challenged, knocking out DePaul in crushing fashion.

Everything that the Orange accomplished was successful. It was one the best shooting performances in SU's long history, as it ended with a robust 45-for-63, 71.4 percent from the floor and seven-for-nine beyond the 3-point arc. In addition, the Orange out-rebounded DePaul 39-22 and scored 41 fast- break points. SU dominated the post 45, points to 10, and blocked 13 shots.

"This was one those games where everything went right, everything we tried worked, every shot went in," said SU head coach Jim Boeheim. "They all went in the basket. When that happens you have an easy day."

Rick Jackson, the lone senior on Senior Day, did not reach his 18th double-double, but contributed with another stellar outing. He had 14 points on seven-of-10 shooting, seven rebounds and four blocks.

Before the game started, Jackson was the recipient of an award for his achievements on the court. Not only did he receive a roaring standing ovation, but he was recognized for joining an elite club of SU players that have scored more than 1,000 points, tallied more than 800 rebounds and blocked 200 shots.

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