The return of Fab Melo was great news but it was better on the court Saturday. The sophomore center netted a team and collegiate-best 14 points and was one of five players for the No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange to score in double figures and help SU rout the St. John's Red Storm, 95-70, in a Big East Conference men's baksetball game at Madison Square Garden.
Melo, who also collected three rebounds and posted two blocks, helped his head coach, Jim Boeheim, earn his 879th victory and tie with former North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Dean Smith for third on the all-time Division I list.
"It's great, it's a great honor but we're still focused on getting to the next game," said Boeheim after the game.
Senior forward Kris Joseph chipped in with 13 points and and collected a team-best eight rebounds for the Orange (23-1, 10-1 Big East), who trailed 7-2 in the games' first 4 minutes, 17 seconds but used a 10-0 run to gain a lead they would never lose.
Syracuse used a 14-3 run midway through the first half to push its lead to double-digits and then used a 15-0 run, which began at the end of the first half and extended into the early part of the second, to earn a 48-27 lead with 18:32 to play in the game.
"I thought Kris Joseph was very active tonight," said Boeheim, "the most active he's been all year."
Sophomore guard Dion Waiters added a team-best 14 points as did sophomore forward C.J. Fair. Meanwhile, freshman point guard Michael Carter-Williams added a collegiate-best 13 points, which featured two first-half 3-pointer that helped SU earn its first double-digit lead; and a thunderous dunk over St. John's junior forward God'sgift Achiuwa (6-foot-8) which gave Syracuse a 68-46 lead with 9:33 left in the game.
"I thought we did a better job on the boards than we have been," said Boeheim, who's team outrebounded St. John's 38-25. "Our ball movement was good the whole game."
Freshman point guard D'Angelo Harrison tallied a game-best 23 points for St. John's, while freshmen guards Moe Harkless netted 15 points and Phil Greene had 14.
After missing its first five shots of the game, Syracuse finished 39-for-70 (55.7-percent) and 7-for-20 (35.0-percent) from behind the 3-point arc.
St. John's was held to 40.4-percent (23 of 57) from the field and fell to Syracuse for the seventh straight time.
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