NEW YORK (AP) -- Syracuse's stars got the Orange a tournament
Hakim Warrick had 25 points, and Gerry McNamara added 21 to lead
Syracuse (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today; No. 5 AP) to a 77-62 victory over Memphis (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today; No. 24 AP) on Friday
night in the championship game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Warrick, a senior forward, and McNamara, a junior guard, were
the key players as Syracuse (4-0) closed the game with a 26-11 run
over the final eight minutes. Both were on the Orange's national
championship team two seasons ago and they were two of five
returning starters this year.
"The veteran players made plays down the stretch, and most
teams don't get that luxury," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said.
"This was Gerry's best effort. He was a little slow starting, but
this was his best effort."
Rodney Carney, coming off a career-high 33 points in the
semifinals, had 20 points in the first half for Memphis (3-1). But
he had just five points in the second half, two in the final 30
"Our defense was good but Rodney cooled down a little bit which
was the difference in the game," Boeheim said.
The win evened Syracuse's record at Madison Square Garden to
69-69, 49-36 under Boeheim.
Despite Carney's first-half heroics, Syracuse led 31-29 at the
break. The game was tied for the last time at 51-51 with 8:19 to
play and Warrick, the tournament MVP, and McNamara took over.
The Orange scored on all but one of their next 11 possessions. A
turnaround by Warrick made it 67-59 with 3:29 left and McNamara
then scored on a three-point play after running the shot clock down
to 5 seconds. After a miss by Memphis, he found Terrence Roberts
for a dunk that made it a 13-point game with less then two minutes
"We're a pretty good team," said McNamara, who didn't touch a
ball for three months after last season as he recovered from a leg
injury. "We have the ability to be very good."
Syracuse beat No. 12 Mississippi State 71-58 in the semifinals,
another game it didn't take control of until the second half.
"Gerry opens a lot of things for me," Warrick said. "Things
are a lot different when you get confidence."
Carney was 5-for-13 from 3-point range for the Tigers, but he
was 1-for-6 in the second half when Syracuse did a better job of
finding him with their 2-3 zone. Sean Banks and Darius Washington
each had 13 points for the Tigers, who beat Saint Mary's 81-66 in
"You can tell they are more of a veteran team than us,"
Memphis coach John Calipari said. "When it came time to winning
time, we didn't execute the way they did.
"The biggest thing is for our guys to be honest with
themselves. It is a great lesson. They played well. We had our
chances down the stretch and they played well."
Memphis beat Syracuse 70-63 in this event two years ago when
each team played just one game. This year there were 16 teams in
the field and the semifinalists advanced to New York.
"This was a big statement to beat two Top 25 teams in
November," Warrick said. "People usually give us a hard time
about our nonconference schedule so this really says a lot of this
Mississippi State beat Saint Mary's 67-54 in the third-place