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No. 22 Villanova Falls To No. 8 Syracuse, 90-75

Feb. 12, 2005

Final Stats |  Quotes

AP Sports Writer

PHILADELPHIA - Hakim Warrick scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and Gerry McNamara had 18 points in their return to their home state, helping No. 8 Syracuse send No. 22 Villanova to its worst loss of the season, 90-75 Saturday.

The Orange (22-3, 9-2 Big East) looked nothing like the team that hit a mini-skid with two losses in their last three games, both to Top 25 teams.

The Wildcats (14-6, 5-5) simply didn't have the size to stop Warrick, who was downright dominant in his best game of the season. He beat them offensively on easy feeds inside and had his way on the boards with seven offensive rebounds.

In the last three games, Syracuse was outrebounded by an average of more than eight per game. Against the Wildcats, the Orange enjoyed a 42-34 edge and scored 26 second-chance points.

McNamara had his usual strong following from Scranton, Pa., about 120 miles northeast of Philadelphia. Warrick is a Philly native and got a rise out of the sellout crowd with a string of dunks late in the second half.

After Warrick finished off one three-point play, he flexed his muscles for an appreciative orange-clad crowd. Warrick was 10-for-14 from the field and 12-of-16 at the free throw line.

McNamara hugged a few Orange fans during a timeout with 28 seconds left and nodded toward the fans in what turned into a Syracuse home game.

Josh Pace scored 21 points and Craig Forth had 10 rebounds for Syracuse.

Randy Foye scored 18 points and Curtis Sumpter had 13 for Villanova, which hadn't lost by more than six points this season.

The Wildcats had won five of six, including victories over Kansas and Notre Dame at the Wachovia Center. The 76ers' home court was no edge a third time for the Wildcats.



Villanova was an awful 13-for-25 from the free throw line, well below its 74 percent average. Trailing by 10 late in the first half, the Wildcats missed five straight from the line and blew a major chance to get back into the game.

Syracuse could have turned the game into a blowout even earlier if not for six turnovers over the first 6{ minutes. Still, the Orange hit their first six shots from the field and finished at 62 percent overall in the half.

With Gov. Ed Rendell, New York Jets coach Herm Edwards and former Orange star Billy Owens watching from the stands, Syracuse finally got its game together midway through the first half. McNamara scored five straight points during an 18-9 run to close the half that made it 43-29.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is 698-237 in his career. The Orange host No. 18 Pitt on Monday night, then play at No. 4 Boston College, which has only one loss this season.