Inside/Outside: Rick Jackson And Andy Rautins Lead No. 4 Syracuse Past Providence

Read more at our Syracuse blog, Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.

Providence, RI (Sports Network) - Rick Jackson and Andy Rautins both scored 28 points, as fourth-ranked Syracuse defeated the Providence Friars, 99-85, in Big East action.

Rautins finished with an amazing 8-for-12 effort from three-point range.

Arinze Onuaku added 12 points for the Orange (26-2, 13-2 Big East), who sit alone at the top this ultra-competitive conference and have won two straight since a 66-60 loss to Louisville on February 14.

Wes Johnson netted 10 points for the Orange, who will now gear up for a top-10 showdown when they host No. 7 Villanova on Saturday night. The Wildcats are in second place in the Big East.

Jamine Peterson and Marshon Brooks scored 23 points for Providence (12-15, 4-11), which has dropped seven straight. Sharaud Curry and Vincent Council both notched 11 points in the loss.

In the first half, the action was tight. A three-pointer by Brian McKenzie gave the Friars a 36-35 lead with over seven minutes to go, and a pair of free throws several minutes later by Peterson made it 43-40 in favor of the hosts.

Brooks' triple capped the scoring in the opening frame and gave Providence a 52-47 lead going into the break.

On the first possession of the second half, Peterson connected on a three- pointer and it appeared that the Friars, who after Peterson's bucket led 55-47, were starting to build momentum to build a big lead.

However, Syracuse roared back.

Over the next five-plus minutes, the Orange embarked on a 14-0 run to move ahead 61-55. A put-back by Onuaku preceded two consecutive layups by Jackson that put Syracuse ahead, 57-55.

After another layup by Jackson, the next three Providence possessions resulted in a steal and ensuing layup for Syracuse. The first was again converted by Jackson, and the same result occurred on the Friars' next possession -- a steal this time paved the way for an easy uncontested layup by Brandon Triche and then another by Johnson.

The run was halted by a long turnaround jumper by Brooks, but Syracuse kept pouring it on. Rautins' three-pointer made it 66-57 with under 12 minutes to go before Jackson's dunk at the midpoint of the stanza put the visitors ahead, 75-60.

For the balance of regulation, the Orange simply pulled away. A trey by Scoop Jardine with under seven minutes on the clock gave Syracuse an 85-71 advantage, and over a minute later, Rautins also connected from beyond the arc.

Another three-pointer by Rautins, this one with 3:18 go play, put Syracuse ahead 96-77 and the fans began to head for the exits.

Syracuse leads the all-time series, 43-10...Overall, Syracuse ended 10-for-21 from beyond the arc and shot 55.6 from the field...Syracuse won the battle on the glass, 39-29...The Friars were 14-of-33 from three-point range...With this win, Syracuse clinched an automatic spot in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament.

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