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March 20, 2008
SYRACUSE, N.Y.(AP) Jonny Flynn had 23 points to lead four Syracuse starters in double figures as the Orange advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT with an 88-72 victory over Maryland Thursday night.
Arinze Onuaku added 14 points and 14 rebounds for Syracuse (21-13), which will play the winner of Saturday's second-round matchup between Massachusetts and Akron. Paul Harris added 19 points and Donte Greene tossed in 16.
Top-seeded Syracuse used a 15-5 spurt late in the second half to pull away from Maryland (19-15), which got 23 points and 11 rebounds from James Gist before he fouled out in the final minute and a career-high 21 from Bambale Osby.
The Terps, a fifth seed, pulled ahead of the Orange to start the second half on three consecutive baskets by Osby. When Osby converted a 3-point play with 13:26 to go he gave Maryland a 54-53 lead.
But Syracuse regained the lead for good with its spurt, taking a 68-59 lead on Flynn's basket with 8:52 to play.
Flynn, the co-Big East Freshman of the Year, sat out the second half of Syracuse's victory Tuesday night over Robert Morris after aggravating a back injury he first suffered on March 12 in Syracuse's loss to Villanova in the opening round of the Big East Conference tournament. He scored just one basket in 14 minutes.
Syracuse took a 40-38 halftime lead, withstanding an 18-point first half by Gist and Maryland's 60 percent shooting from the field. At one point, Gist scored 12 straight points for the Terps, who led by as many as eight points in the first half.
But Syracuse outscored Maryland 12-0 over a 2 1/2 minute span late in the half to seize the lead and build its own eight-point cushion. Back-to-back 3s by Greene and Flynn gave the Orange their first lead of the night, 32-30, with 4:42 to play.
Greivis Vasquez, Maryland's leading scorer at 17.2 points a game, scored only 8 points. His first basket, a 3-pointer, came with 15:23 to play in the game. Vasquez had 7 assists.