7:00 PM ET, February 18, 2003
Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- After facing the likes of Georgetown and Pittsburgh, Syracuse freshman Carmelo Anthony didn't think Big East basketball could get any rougher.''I guess those were just warmups because this was the most physical game we've played in,'' said Anthony, who scored 12 of his 21 points in the second half Tuesday night as the Orangemen (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today; No. 15 Associated Press) outlasted St. John's 66-60 in a game of miscues and misfires. ''Every play it seemed there was pushing and grabbing and fouling. We just had to play through it. We just kept taking it to them,'' Anthony said. The Orangemen (18-4, 9-3 Big East) went 6-for-7 from the free-throw line over the final 35 seconds to win their 17th consecutive home game. Their 15-0 home start this season is their best ever in the Carrier Dome. Marcus Hatten had 22 points and a school-record 10 steals for St. John's (12-10, 5-7), which set a Big East record with 41 3-point attempts. The Red Storm connected on only nine 3s, however, and lost for the fourth time in five games. ''We had a ton of open looks. It wasn't like the shots were contested,'' said Hatten, who added a team-high seven assists. Kueth Duany added 17 points for Syracuse, including six of the Orangemen's final eight points. ''Whether it's ugly or beautiful, we'll take it either way,'' Duany said. Syracuse had a season-high 26 turnovers. Saturday, the Orangemen had a season-low four turnovers in their victory over Notre Dame. ''When it gets like that, it's going to be a pretty ugly game. There were a lot of turnovers. There was a lot of banging. We had to fight for our lives,'' Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. ''We were bad right from the beginning. But we were at our best at the end,'' he said. The Orangemen led 42-32 with 13:59 to play but went cold over the next 5½ minutes as St. John's scored 13 consecutive points to take a 45-42 lead. Anthony broke the drought with a 17-footer with 8:26 to go. The basket came in the middle of 10 consecutive points by Anthony, who also had 13 rebounds. The teams traded the lead down the stretch until Hakim Warrick gave the Orangemen the lead for good, 56-54, with two free throws with 2:46 to play. Hatten shot just 9-for-25 from the field, including 2-for-11 from 3-point range. Freshman Elijah Ingram, who came into the game among the conference leaders in 3-point shooting at nearly 40 percent, was just 2-for-20 from behind the arc. ''I didn't have my legs in my shot,'' said Ingram, who was nursing a sprained left ankle suffered in practice. ''I didn't want to shoot it but everybody said to keep shooting.'' Willie Shaw added 12 points for St. John's, which stayed in the game with 25 offensive rebounds. Neither team could get its offense in rhythm in the first half, which ended with the Orangemen ahead 33-27 despite committing 14 turnovers. The Red Storm committed 12 turnovers and shot just 30 percent from the field.
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