Syracuse gets balanced effort to beat Irish

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim gave Arinze Onuaku and Rick Jackson a simple task -- make Notre Dame star Luke Harangody work hard for his points.

The Orange's big men did that and more.

Onuaku matched his season high with 19 points, Jackson had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and the eighth-ranked Orange held off Notre Dame 93-74 on Saturday.

Harangody had 25 points and 16 rebounds, his 10th straight 20-point game and seventh consecutive double-double. But he found it tough going inside, shooting 9-for-28 against an inspired Orange man-to-man defense.

"Coach told us to stay down and make him take tough shots," said Onuaku, who combined with Jackson for seven blocks. "He's such a great player that you have to make him work hard and think about it. You just try to put a hand in his face to discourage the shot."

The Orange (17-2, 5-1 Big East), coming off a loss at Georgetown that stopped a seven-game winning streak, snapped a three-game losing streak against the Irish (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 12 AP).

Paul Harris had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Syracuse, while Jonny Flynn finished with 17 points and nine assists, Eric Devendorf had 16 points and Andy Rautins 10 points.

Kyle McAlarney finished with seven 3-pointers and 24 points and Ryan Ayers had 11 points for the Irish (12-5, 3-3).

Harangody took the blame for the Irish's second straight defeat. They also lost in overtime at No. 20 Louisville on Monday night. Harangody went scoreless over the final 11 minutes against the Cardinals and had only one field goal after McAlarney's 3 moved the Irish within 74-69 of Syracuse with 6:01 left.

"This one's on me," Harangody said. "I've reached the time in my career where I need to step up and 9-for-28 from the field is unacceptable. I can't lay a goose egg like that, especially on the road."

Harangody, staring at either Onuaku, Jackson, or Harris every time he turned around, moved away from the basket in the second half and wasn't as effective, managing 11 points and five rebounds.

The Orange outscored Notre Dame 54-24 in the paint, had 39 fast break points, and limited the Irish to 35.5 percent shooting.

"We forced them into tough shots," said Rautins, who had three steals and showed no effects of spraining his knee against Georgetown. "It was important to get off to a good start. This was a huge game. It shows what we can do."

Syracuse jumped to a 13-point lead in the opening 10 minutes behind outbursts by Flynn, Onuaku and Rautins. Flynn hit his third 3 in a 3-minute span to give Syracuse a 15-12 lead at 14:21 send the Carrier Dome crowd of 30,021 into a frenzy.

The Orange never trailed again, but every time they seemed set to take command, the Irish came back.

After Harris hit only his third 3-pointer of the season and then followed Onuaku's fast break miss, Syracuse had a 61-45 lead with 12:21 left. McAlarney, who had nine 3-pointers last season to key an Irish win over the Orange at the Joyce Center, hit two from beyond the arc and just like that Notre Dame was back within eight.

Jackson then dunked over Harangody and finished an eight-point spurt with a hook over the Irish star to give Syracuse a 16-point lead midway through the period.

The Irish responded with a 16-5 run that ended with McAlarney's 3 that made it 74-69.

But even though Devendorf missed three straight shots, the Irish failed to take advantage. Harris had a tremendous block on Harangody, who then committed one of two straight Irish turnovers and missed a 3 from the right corner.

"We were trying to get back in the game," McAlarney said. "You fight so hard to get back in that position, and when you get to that point, it's hard to switch gears a little bit. We did a good job of trying to, but they just kept running on us, kept pushing on us and made some big shots down the stretch."

Flynn started the final flurry by scoring on an inbounds pass with 4:04 left. Devendorf then hit from the top of the key and Flynn scored on a fast break layup off a feed from Devendorf to boost the lead to 82-72 with 3:03 to go.

Syracuse, which missed its first seven free throws -- five in the first half by Onuaku -- made eight straight over the final 1:19.