No. 1 Syracuse Dominates St. John's, Clinches Big East Title

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No. 1 Syracuse Beats St. John's, Clinches Big East Title

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

Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) - Arinze Onuaku and Andy Rautins celebrated senior day in style, scoring 21 and 14 points, respectively, and in the process helped top-ranked Syracuse claim its first outright Big East title since 1991 with a comfortable 85-66 victory over St. John's.

The nation's top team, fresh of a dominant performance in front of a national audience Saturday night versus Villanova, again showcased the inside-out assault that has made it one of the favorite's come NCAA Tournament time.

Onuaku grabbed eight boards to go along with his team-leading point total, Rautins drained four treys, Wesley Johnson added 13 points on an economical 10 shots and Kris Joseph got to the charity stripe 12 times as part of a 13- point, six-rebound performance. Scoop Jardine chipped in 10 points off the bench for the Orange (28-2, 15-2 Big East), who have won four straight, will hold the top seed in next week's conference tournament in New York and appear locked in as a No. 1 seed come Selection Sunday.

D.J. Kennedy led St. John's (15-14, 5-12) with 19 points and Paris Horne donated 18 for the Red Storm, who are fighting a different battle at season's end, trying to stay above .500 as a viable selection for the NIT.

St. John's hung tough early, squaring the contest at 11 on a Sean Evans layup, but Rautins' mid-range jumper capped seven successive points moments later for the home team.

Another eight-point flurry as the Red Storm drew within three opened a double- digit lead. One of Rautins' signature long-distance daggers made the score 31-20 with just over six minutes remaining in the half.

The lead grew to as many as 16 in the closing minutes, and Syracuse held a 42-28 lead after 20 minutes of game action.

St. John's came within 11 early in the second half, but the margin grew to 70-51 on an Onuaku layup with just over eight minutes to play. The Red Storm were never able to put a huge dent in the deficit, and the final minutes were played as a swan song to the Syracuse departing seniors.

Syracuse leads the all-time series, 46-37...The Orange shot 51.7 percent from the floor despite making just 6-of-17 from beyond the arc. The three-point percentage plummeted to 2-of-8 when Rautins wasn't firing a trey...St. John's struggled from the charity stripe, making just 9-of-17.

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