No. 2 Syracuse crushes St. John's 95-70

JIM O'CONNELL AP Basketball Writer Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Fab Melo scored a career-high 14 points in his return after a three-game absence and Jim Boeheim tied Dean Smith for third place on the victory list with win No. 879 as No. 2 Syracuse dominated St. John's 95-70 on Saturday.

Syracuse (23-1, 10-1 Big East) rallied behind the return of the 7-foot Melo, taking a 41-27 halftime lead and blowing it open by starting the second half on a 16-3 run in front of a sellout crowd of 19,979 at Madison Square Garden, most of whom were wearing orange.

Melo missed the last three games as he resolved an academic issue. He had been allowed to practice with the team and he looked ready from the start of his first game back, once again a force in the middle on the back line of the 2-3 zone.