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Syracuse 78, Kent State 66

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Louie McCroskey and Eric Devendorf
combined for 30 points, Terrence Roberts had 21, and Syracuse beat
Kent State 78-66 on Friday night.

Syracuse (11-2), which won its eighth straight, has not lost
since Devendorf replaced McCroskey in the starting lineup a month
ago. On this night, they worked well together as the Orange used a
balanced attack and pounded the ball inside repeatedly against the
Golden Flashes (6-5). Syracuse scored 52 points in the paint.

Devendorf finished with 16 points and Gerry McNamara had 10
points and 12 assists, his fourth double-double of the season, also
matching his career high for assists, and Demetris Nichols had 10
points.

DeAndre Haynes had 17 points and six assists off the bench,
Isaac Knight had 11 points, and Armon Gates 10 points for Kent
State.

Syracuse blew its seven-point halftime lead in the first two
minutes of the second half, missing three times and committing a
turnover. The Golden Flashes took advantage, getting a goaltending
call against Darryl Watkins, two free throws by Omni Smith, and a
fast-break layup by Haynes to make it 37-36 at 18:06.

Any hopes of an upset disappeared in a flash as the Orange
responded with a 10-0 run to take command. McCroskey scored on a
layup off an inbounds pass, then hit a spinning layup off a feed
from McNamara to give the Orange a five-point edge.

Devendorf's scoop shot, a driving layup by Roberts, and a layup
off the glass by McCroskey, who switched hands in midair, made it
47-36 at 14:37.

McNamara completed his eighth career double-double when he hit a
3 from the top of the key to give the Orange a 61-48 lead with 8:06
left.

The first half was tied three times, the last coming after
Haynes hit a long 3 to make it 17-17 midway through the period.
Roberts and McNamara then keyed a 15-6 Syracuse run that gave the
Orange a nice cushion.

McNamara began it with his 29th steal of the season and 221st of
his career, which moved him past Pearl Washington into fourth place
all-time at Syracuse. That led to two free throws by Devendorf, and
McNamara followed that with an alley-oop pass to Roberts for a
thunderous slam dunk.

After Roberts converted twice more from in close, McNamara hit 3
from the top of the key and then fed Watkins for another slam dunk
to give Syracuse a 32-23 lead with 5:14 left.

Mike Scott hit a midrange jumper with just under a minute to
play and Haynes made a runner in the lane with 1.5 seconds left to
bring the Golden Flashes within 37-30 at halftime.