EDS: Syracuse 76, Richmond 71; Optional.
AP Photo NYKR101
By JOHN KEKIS
AP Sports Writer
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Richmond coach Chris Mooney found out first-hand what he probably already knew -- Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn is a handful.
Flynn scored 27 points -- 16 in the final 13:34 -- to lead the Orange past the Spiders 76-71 on Tuesday night in the CBE Classic.
"They have a lot of good players who can hurt you, but the big thing was we couldn't guard Flynn," Mooney said. "We couldn't keep him out of the middle. We couldn't dig in and guard him when they wanted to score."
Flynn and fellow guard Eric Devendorf combined for 49 points and keyed a 13-2 run in the first five minutes of the second half that erased Richmond's 38-31 halftime lead.
Flynn started the run with two driving layups and then assisted on four straight baskets by Devendorf -- three 3-pointers and a driving, left-handed layup that gave Syracuse a 44-40 lead at 15:46.
For Devendorf, who sat out most of last season with a torn knee ligament, it was another encouraging night.
"I felt I had to ignite a spark for me and my team," Devendorf said after going 4-for-6 on 3-pointers. "We took care of business. I'm back to the old me and doing what I'm capable of doing. It's going to be tough to stop our backcourt."
Syracuse (2-0) played mostly zone in the first half and gave up seven 3-pointers, four by David Gonzalvez. The Orange reverted to a more aggressive man-to-man in the second, limited the Spiders to 1-for-12 shooting from beyond the arc, and held on.
"We started locating the shooters and getting a hand in their face. We got active," Flynn said. "I liked the way we gathered ourselves as a team."
Devendorf rattled in another 3 and converted another lefty drive and Arinze Onuaku scored two straight baskets to key an 11-4 run that put Syracuse up 69-58 with 4:03 left.
The Spiders (1-1) own one of the biggest upsets in NCAA tournament history -- Richmond became the first 15th seed to defeat a No. 2 seed when it beat Syracuse 73-69 in 1991 -- and they showed spunk in this one, too.
Flynn then hit a layup and two free throws in the final minute, and the Spiders ran out of time.
"Flynn is so disruptive we lost Devendorf a couple of times," Mooney said. "But we hung in there when they went on that big run. I think we can get better. We need to be a tad calmer, but I'm proud of the way we played."
Arinze Onuaku finished with 17 points for the Orange. Paul Harris had only seven points, all in the first half, and did not draw any fouls, and Andy Rautins missed all seven of his shots from the field, including five 3s.
Gonzalvez had 18 points, Anderson 15, Harper 13 and Kevin Smith 10 for Richmond.
The Orange led the first 11 minutes of the game but never by more than six points. And after Rick Jackson's tip-in put the Orange up 23-17 at 11:12, the Spiders used their outside shooting to take a seven-point lead at the break.
Gonzalvez, Conor Smith and Anderson each hit a 3 in the final four minutes as Richmond finished the half on a 10-4 run.
"We didn't have the presence of mind to be aggressive," said Gonzalvez, who did not shoot a free throw. "I should have got to the basket a lot more."
The Atlantic 10 had great success last season in the Carrier Dome. Massachusetts became the first team to win two games in the dome in one season and Rhode Island also beat the Orange on Jim Boeheim Court.
That the Spiders nearly joined the win parade only served notice that the Orange are far from polished.
"We're happy to come out of here with a win," Boeheim said. "To be down seven (at halftime), this is a pretty good win for us. The difference was our man-to-man. We spent a lot of time on it."