Wildcats Fall To Syracuse
Feb 23, 2004
By JOHN KEKIS
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - Hakim Warrick and Gerry McNamara combined for 36 points, 21 of them on free throws, to lead Syracuse to a 64-59 victory over Villanova on Monday night.
It was the third win in four games for the Orangemen (18-6, 8-5 Big East) and the fourth loss in five games for Villanova (14-12, 6-7 Big East). And it was a struggle all the way on both sides of the ball - there were 39 turnovers and 45 personal fouls.
Warrick was 4-for-10 from the floor and McNamara was 3-for-10, but they were 21-for-24 from the foul line, and that helped seal the Wildcats' fate. Josh Pace had 14 points and Louie McCroskey finished with 10.
Syracuse, which was 24-for-32 on free throws, went on a 13-3 run early in the second half and seemed to take charge after McNamara hit four straight free throws, the last two after the Villanova bench was called for a technical.
That gave the Orangemen a 43-33 lead with 9:50 to go, but the Wildcats wouldn't quit.
Randy Foye, who finished with eight points, hit a 3-pointer from the right corner, Fraser converted a fast-break dunk and Ray hit a 3 after stealing an inbounds pass as Villanova rallied to take a 49-48 lead with 4:50 to go.
Pace then drove the lane and hit a shot off the glass to give Syracuse the lead, and the Orangemen never trailed again.
McCroskey hit a long 3 from the right wing to extend the Orangemen's lead to 57-49 at 2:33 before the Wildcats rallied one more time.
A follow shot by Foye and a three-point play by Will Sheridan with 1:21 left
cut the lead to 58-54. But McNamara, the Big East's leading free throw shooter,
hit six straight in the final 61 seconds to preserve an important win.