West Virginia 51

(13-12, 4-9 Big East)

(15) Syracuse 89

(20-4, 10-3 Big East)

    7:00 PM ET, February 26, 2003

    Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York

    1 2 T
    WVU 17 3451
    #15SYR 35 5489

    Orangemen win 18th straight at Carrier Dome

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Once Kueth Duany zoned in on Drew Schifino, West Virginia never had a chance against No. 15 Syracuse.

    Duany helped hold Schifino, the Mountaineers' leading scorer, to a season-low 10 points as the Orangemen clamped down with a stiff man-to-man defense and won 89-51 Wednesday night.

    Neither Schifino, who finished 4-for-18 shooting, nor standout freshman Kevin Pittsnogle could get going for West Virginia (13-12, 4-9 Big East). Pittsnogle was 2-for-10 from the field and hit just one of four 3-pointers. He entered the game with 109 3-pointers and was shooting 54 percent from long range.

    "All week that's what we were preparing to do,'' said Duany, who scored 18 points. "Pittsnogle is the best 3-point shooter in the Big East, and he's their center.''

    Syracuse (20-4, 10-3 Big East) remained unbeaten in 16 home games this season and ran its Carrier Dome winning streak to 18 overall. Carmelo Anthony had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Hakim Warrick had 18 points and eight rebounds to lead the Orangemen.

    Pittsnogle finished with nine points and nine rebounds, Josh Yeager also had nine points and Johannes Herber seven for West Virginia.

    The Orangemen fell behind by 15 points before rallying for a 94-80 road win over the Mountaineers 18 days ago. This time they built a 35-17 halftime advantage because West Virginia just couldn't hit a shot against Syracuse's active man-to-man defense.

    After hitting two of their first three shots against Syracuse's 2-3 zone, the Mountaineers went 4-for-26 over the final 18:05 of the first half as the Orangemen switched to a man. West Virginia finished the half at 20.7 percent and went 17-for-63 (27 percent) for the game, its worst shooting performance of the season.

    "That is unselfish, well-coached, look-for-each-other defense,'' West Virginia coach John Beilein said. "They believe in each other, they believe in the system. That's a great group.''

    Syracuse was 14-for-34 in the first half. Anthony and guard Gerry McNamara, the highest-scoring freshman duo in the nation at nearly 36 points per game, were a combined 3-for-16 from the floor for eight points.

    At least part of the Mountaineers' strategy was working.

    "The whole thing for us was to take McNamara out of his game because he's their best alley-oop passer,'' Belein said. "But when Anthony banked one home and Duany hit three or four it blew that game plan. That was our only chance.''

    Anthony got going in the second half, hitting all five of his shots from the floor and eight of 10 free throws for his 15th double-double of the season.

    "It was our defense, man,'' said Anthony, who scored nine points to key a 21-2 run that began midway through the half. "I thought we did a good job with Pittsnogle and Schifino. It was us defensively stopping everything.''

    After Schifino hit a 3 to open the second half, Syracuse went on a 13-4 spurt capped by a 3 from Duany and a floater in the lane by Billy Edelin off McNamara's pass that gave the Orangemen a 48-24 lead at 15:55.

    Syracuse blocked nine shots, had nine steals, forced 15 turnovers and held the Mountaineers, who started three freshmen and two sophomores, to 6-for-26 shooting on 3-pointers.

    "We have a lot of young guys out there, and that's going to happen,'' Yeager said. "You need experience, size and athleticism. It's going to take us a year.''

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2002-03 Season

    Feb 8, 2003 SYR 94, @WVU 80Recap
    » Feb 26, 2003 @SYR 89, WVU 51Recap