7:00 PM ET, December 18, 2004
Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- The next time Hakim Warrick wants to practice at Drexel, he'll probably find the gym doors locked.Warrick, who grew up only blocks from the school's campus in Philadelphia, had 21 points, three assists and three blocks Saturday night to lead No. 8 Syracuse past the Dragons 74-54."He just jumped over the top of us and scored," Drexel coach James Flint said. "I've seen him do that a lot to a lot of people. I don't know what to say. Even when we ran a guy at him to double-team him, he found the open man. He got a lot of guys involved."I told him, you make another shot and I'm not letting you come and work out anymore," Flint said.Despite having to fight through numerous double teams, Warrick was 8-for-13 from the field, including a 3-pointer from the top of the key less than six minutes into the game, and hit all four of his free throws."I definitely wanted to go out there and have a good game against them," Warrick said "I just wanted to go out there and play my game. I knew they were going to come out there and try to be aggressive. They're a scrappy team."Warrick had plenty of help. Darryl Watkins had career highs with 14 points and 13 rebounds for his first career double-double, and Josh Pace had 14 points as the Orange (9-1) used a big lineup to dominate the glass. Syracuse outrebounded Drexel 44-17, the lowest total the Orange have allowed since Princeton managed only 15 rebounds in a game during the 1982-83 season.Drexel (3-4), playing its sixth road game in seven starts, fell behind 4-0 in the first minute of play as Craig Forth and Louie McCroskey hit baskets in a 29-second span. But the Dragons tied it at 8 on a three-point play by Chaz Crawford at 16:05.Every time the Orange seemed ready to break it open in the early going, Drexel rallied back. After Terrence Roberts fed Watkins for a slam at 10:23 to give Syracuse a 22-14 edge, Kenell Sanchez converted a fast-break layup and Jeremiah King narrowed the lead to 22-21 with a 3-pointer from the left wing with 7:41 left."We came out with intensity and tried to make them match ours," said Crawford, who led Drexel with 15 points. "We just couldn't hit the shots."Drexel shot just 30 percent in the first half, 3-for-12 from long range, while the Orange made 64.3 percent of their shots.Syracuse took command with an 18-5 spurt to close the first half. After King's 3-pointer, Watkins hit a short turnaround baseline jumper, McCroskey followed with a steal and layup and Watkins fed Roberts for a two-hand slam to give Syracuse a 28-21 lead.Billy Edelin hit a leaner and Warrick made three baskets, his turnaround jumper in the lane with seven seconds left finishing the run."It's good to get a solid win," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "We're happy with it. We played tremendous toward the end of the first half. We really needed to be ready to do that. We've had a couple of games where we've not gotten going and had to struggle for our lives."Pace finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals for Syracuse. Phil Goss had 11 points and King had 10 for the Dragons.About the only negative for Syracuse was the performance of Gerry McNamara. Hounded all game by Drexel's aggressive man-to-man defense, he finished with a season-low six points and had four assists and six turnovers."They just kept a guy on him," Boeheim said. "But that's why (Watkins) got open. He's getting layups and offensive rebounds and it allows Josh Pace to get in the lane. Gerry's a factor no matter what."The Dragons went on a 7-0 spurt early in the second half and moved within 44-37 on a baseline runner by Goss at 14:41.But Warrick hit a pretty scoop in the lane and fed Watkins for a dunk to key a 10-2 run that gave the Orange a 61-44 lead with 7:36 left.