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
''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,''
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.