Scores

Final

Boston College 73

(11-3, 1-1 Big East)

(17) Syracuse 96

(11-1, 2-0 Big East)

    2:00 PM ET, January 10, 2004

    Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York

    1 2 T
    BC 29 4473
    #17SYR 49 4796

    Boeheim ties Wooden on all-time win list

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- When Syracuse guard Gerry McNamara glanced up at the scoreboard midway through the second half, Boston College was suddenly in a heap of trouble.

    McNamara scored 13 points in less than 5 minutes after the Eagles had erased all but six points of a 22-point deficit, and the Orangemen (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) ran away to a 96-73 victory Saturday.

    "I just got a little upset," said McNamara, who had 26 points and seven assists. "I figured it was time to get hot or die trying."

    It was the 664th win for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, tying him with former UCLA mentor John Wooden for 19th on the all-time list.

    Syracuse (11-1, 2-0 Big East) shot 70.4 percent in the first half and used a 21-0 run to build what appeared to be a commanding lead, but the Eagles refused to give up.

    Craig Smith scored eight of his 27 points and freshman Sean Marshall drained two 3-pointers to lead them back.

    Marshall's third 3 of the game pulled BC to 61-55 midway through the period, and when McNamara missed from the top of the key and again on a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions, the Eagles seemed poised to continue their impressive comeback.

    Then, just like that, all hope vanished. McNamara exploded for three of his six 3-pointers in the game and hit a long jumper off a screen by Hakim Warrick in less than 3 minutes as Syracuse went on a 21-6 surge to take an 82-61 lead with 4:25 left.

    "He's like a cow, and you have to keep milking him," said Warrick, who finished with 19 points. "To get it (the lead) back up there I think says a lot about this team."

    And a lot about the Eagles.

    Ryan Sidney, their No. 2 rebounder and No. 3 scorer last year, left the team last summer for personal reasons and Andrew Bryant, a valuable reserve, was dismissed in August because of academics. That, plus the loss of top scorer Troy Bell to the NBA, has forced coach Al Skinner to rely heavily on freshmen.

    "Our inexperience showed when we put ourselves in positions that they took full advantage of," Skinner said. "Our intention was not to lose McNamara, but that again is our youth. We got back in the game and we forgot (about him)."

    The game was on the verge of becoming a rout after Syracuse held the Eagles scoreless for 7:07 during that first-half run.

    Smith got the ball repeatedly inside and scored 10 points as the Eagles matched the Orangemen shot for shot in the opening minutes. But after his rebound basket at 10:22 tied the game at 19, the Orangemen stepped up the defensive intensity and BC didn't' score again until Steve Hailey hit two free throws with 3:15 left.

    BC began the game 7-of-14 from the field, then shot 3-for-13 over the final 11 minutes of the first half as the Orangemen switched defenses, nabbing seven steals and getting six blocked shots in building a 49-29 halftime lead.

    "Everyone thought it was over at halftime, but these games are never over. It could have gone either way," Boeheim said. "But it's a good win for us and good to start out the conference on a positive note."

    Billy Edelin had 17 points and six assists, and Josh Pace had 14 points, six rebounds and six assists for Syracuse.

    Freshman Jared Dudley was 11-for-11 from the foul line and finished with 15 points, while Marshall added 15 points and Uka Agbai had 12 for the Eagles.

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    2003-04 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Jan 10, 2004 @SYR 96, BC 73Recap
    Mar 11, 2004 BC 57, @SYR 54Recap