7:00 PM ET, February 3, 2003
Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Hakim Warrick picked the right time to listen to his coach.Silent for most of the game, Warrick scored eight points in a 90-second span midway through the second half Monday night to break open a tense struggle and lead Syracuse (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) to an 88-80 win over Georgetown. Syracuse (15-3, 6-2 Big East) remained unbeaten in 13 games inside the Carrier Dome. Georgetown (10-8, 2-6) lost its fourth straight and fell to 0-6 on the road. Warrick has received more than his share of shouts from head coach Jim Boeheim this season, and every time the lanky sophomore forward went off for a breather against the Hoyas, his ears were ringing some more. "He didn't get two loose balls, and that upset me,'' Boeheim said. "He's too nice of a kid. We need to send him to aggression school.'' Maybe not. After consecutive 3-pointers by Gerald Riley and Tony Bethel gave the Hoyas a 56-55 lead at 12:27, Warrick woke up. Held to just three points through the first 30 minutes, he hit a jumper in the lane at 9:46 to give the Orangemen a 63-57 edge, then converted two three-point plays in a 28-second span to boost the lead to 69-59 with 8:16 left. "I didn't come to play the first half,'' said Warrick, who also had seven rebounds. "I knew I was playing bad and wasn't bringing it. I felt like I was letting my team down.'' There was a reason. The Orangemen were still recovering from Saturday night's scintillating 67-65 victory over Pittsburgh, which dropped the Panthers from second to fourth in the AP Top 25 and moved Syracuse up five spots. "I couldn't get up because my calves and my hip were so sore from the Pitt game,'' Warrick said. "I just had to shoot floaters, kind of improvise.'' That's exactly what he did to complete his spurt, hitting a stunning underhand scoop past Brandon Bowman along the baseline. "I just kind of tried to quick spin to keep him off me,'' Warrick said. "I saw that he was coming over, so I tried to throw up the shot before they tried to call it on the ground. Luckily, it went down.'' Carmelo Anthony and Gerry McNamara each had 22 points to lead Syracuse, Kueth Duany had 15, Warrick 11 and Billy Edelin 10. As usual, the Hoyas relied on Mike Sweetney to carry the load, and he did with 32 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks. But there wasn't much he could do in the final 3:58 as the Orangemen sank 14 straight free throws to keep Georgetown at bay. "Scoring is good, but we didn't win,'' said Sweetney, who scored eight straight points early in the game. "You can score as many points as you want, but if you don't win, it don't mean nothing. They outhustled us in the first half, but in the second half we stepped it up. But then they started hitting their free throws and we were missing ours.'' Riley had 15 points, Victor Samnick 12, and Bethel had 12 points and nine assists for Georgetown. The Hoyas, coming off a double-overtime heartbreaker at Notre Dame on Saturday, pulled back within 69-63 at 5:08 on Bethel's driving layup over Jeremy McNeil. But the Orangemen missed only one free throw the remainder of the game and finished 29-for-33. "To know that we can hit free throws down the stretch, that's very important,'' said Anthony, who was 10-for-13 from the line. "That was the game right there.''
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