PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Andy Rautins scored 19 points and Demetris Nichols hit a key 3-pointer in the final minute as Syracuse beat Providence on Saturday for its fourth straight win, 71-67.
The shot by Nichols came with 37 seconds remaining and gave Syracuse a 68-65 lead. Nichols finished with 18 points, including 14 in the second half, for Syracuse (20-8, 9-5). Rautins scored his points on 7-of-12 shooting, including five 3-pointers.Herbert Hill scored 29 points on 13-of-16 shooting and added 14 rebounds and 8 blocks for Providence (17-10, 7-7). Geoff McDermott added 14 rebounds.Providence outrebounded Syracuse, 51-38, and had a 44 to 26 edge in points scored down low. But Syracuse made 12 of 29 3-point attempts while Providence hit just 4 of 22 3-pointers.Syracuse led by as much as nine points late in the first half, but Providence went on a 20-7 run to take a 38-34 halftime lead.The teams stayed close throughout the second half. Providence's Brian McKenzie 3-pointer with 1:47 tied the game for the third time in the second half, 65-65.Both teams missed shots on their next possessions before Nichols' 3-pointer gave Syracuse the lead for good.The Friars missed a layup and were forced to foul. Syracuse then put the game away on free throws by Paul Harris and Eric Devendorf.