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Syracuse 73, Tulane 60

EDS: Syracuse 73, Tulane 60; Optional.

AP Photos

By JOHN KEKIS

AP Sports Writer

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Jim Boeheim got his one-word message through loud and clear to his Syracuse Orange -- at least for one game: Defense!

Jonny Flynn had 17 points, Paul Harris and Arinze Onuaku combined for 29 points and 26 rebounds, and Syracuse beat Tulane 73-60 on Saturday night.

It was the first-ever meeting between the teams, and Syracuse atoned for its 107-100 home loss Wednesday to UMass, the most points ever scored against the Orange in the Carrier Dome.

"We made a tremendous effort to play defense," Boeheim said. "That's going to help us in the long run. Both our man and our zone were pretty good, and we rebounded better. That's important."

Syracuse (5-2) entered the game allowing 82 points per game and opponents were shooting 45.6 percent from the floor. The Orange used a man-to-man defense for most of the game to hold the Green Wave to 34.5 percent and dominated the glass 47-33.

"The first thing after the UMass game was play defense," said Onuaku, who had had 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. "We've been working on that the last couple of days, getting in the right position to get the offensive rebound. As soon as we started going up and down (the court), the first thing we said was we were going to get down and play defense."

Tulane (3-3), which lost 65-51 at Buffalo on Thursday, suffered its third straight setback.

"When we scheduled this road trip in June, we thought it would be a good road trip for us," Tulane coach Dave Dickerson said. "But getting beat by Buffalo and two nights later Syracuse is very, very difficult for our program. Thank God it's only Dec. 1 and not Feb. 1. We have time to get better."

The Orange won despite an awful shooting night by its leading scorer. Freshman forward Donte Greene, who was averaging 20 points a game, was just 1-for-12 from the floor, missed all seven 3-pointers he attempted and finished with nine points and 11 rebounds.

Harris had 15 points in registering his fifth double-double of the season, and Eric Devendorf added 16 points but was just 5-for-15 from the floor. Onuaku had eight offensive rebounds, one more than Harris, and the two combined had four more than the Green Wave as a team.

"When you have two guys get 15 offensive rebounds, that's very, very difficult to overcome," Dickerson said. "You have to spend so much time trying to keep those guys off the boards. It didn't allow us to get into transition. We just couldn't get the ball. It's as simple as that."

Daniel Puckett led Tulane with 16 points and Robinson Louisme had 10. David Gomez, the Green Wave's leading scorer at 13.4 points per game, had eight points. Kevin Sims added 11 points on 2-for-15 shooting, including 1-for-7 on 3-pointers.

"It's like they had four post players," said Gomez, who was 3-for-13. "It's hard to get everybody on the boards. I missed a lot of easy shots I usually make. That's very frustrating. But we didn't give up. We kept fighting."

Syracuse had a commanding 12-3 edge on the offensive boards in the opening half, outscoring Tulane 13-3 on second-chance points, and led by as many as 14 despite getting just two points from Greene and making just 2-of-14 attempts from long range.

Syracuse shot 20 percent (4-for-20) for the game from beyond the arc, but the Orange's board game more than atoned for that.

"When you're not making the 3, you've got to find a way," Boeheim said.

The Orange scored the first 11 points of the game while the Green Wave missed their first five shots. Greene's tip and consecutive hooks by Onuaku made it 11-0 at 15:15 before Puckett hit a drive off the glass and followed with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to put Tulane on the board.

The Green Wave rallied to trail by just 28-21 at halftime and managed to stay in the game in the second half despite falling behind 47-37 after two free throws by Greene midway through the period.

Two lane violations by the Orange and two technicals, one against Boeheim, helped Tulane trim the lead to 51-45 on two free throws by Donnavan Stith with 8:02 to go. But Flynn hit a 3 from the left corner and Devendorf hit another 3 from left wing to give Syracuse a 60-47 lead with 5:54 remaining.

Senior guard Josh Wright, who had played just four minutes in Syracuse's first six games, saw his first action since playing in the season opener against Siena. Wright, who missed four games, was inserted midway through the first half and played eight minutes with two turnovers and didn't score.