Scores

Final

TCU 64

(1-5, 0-3 away)

Syracuse 80

(6-2, 5-1 home)

    7:00 PM ET, December 3, 2005

    Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York

    1 2 T
    TCU 25 3964
    SYR 40 4080

    Top Performers

    TCU: N. Murry 25 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl

    Syracuse: D. Nichols 24 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 4 Blk

    Nichols hits six threes to lead No. 24 Syracuse

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Demetris Nichols had a simple explanation.

    "I just felt good," Nichols said Saturday night after leading Syracuse to an 80-64 victory over TCU. "My teammates found me. They found a hot hand."

    Make that hot hands.

    Nichols made a career-high six 3-pointers, all in the first half, and scored 24 points, and freshman guard Eric Devendorf made five 3s, four of them in the second half, to lead the Orange (6-2). Devendorf was 5-for-8 from long range after making only seven 3s in the first seven games.

    "They were guarding him (Nichols) pretty tight in the second half, so that opened me up," said Devendorf, who finished with a season-high 19 points. "I just let the game come to me. I felt pretty confident. If we're open, we're going to shoot no matter how many shots we take."

    Overall, the Orange made 12-of-29 3-pointers, just three off the school record set against West Virginia in 1997. And amazingly, Syracuse's all-time leader Gerry McNamara didn't add to his career total of 319, missing all six tries from long range.

    He was still smiling, though, because he had a couple of teammates to share the offensive load. McNamara began the night averaging a team-high 16 points per game.

    "If I struggle and get double-doubles, I hope that's the story of the season," said McNamara, who scored 11 points and dished out 10 assists for his first double-double this season and third of his career. "If I can still be productive and help the team win, then I'll take a bad night shooting any night, as long as we get the win."

    Syracuse, which staged a stunning rally to beat Manhattan in overtime on Wednesday, didn't need any late-game heroics to beat the Horned Frogs (1-5). Nichols equaled his career high with 24 points and also blocked a career-high four shots, and the Orange used an aggressive man-to-man defense to help open a 40-25 halftime lead.

    "We really played good man in the first half," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "I think we're playing better. We went a little smaller and I thought we did a good job defensively, but we need our big guys."

    Nile Murry led TCU with 25 points, Judson Stubbs had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Blake Adams had nine points.

    Syracuse began to assume control midway through the first half. After Art Pierce intercepted a bad inbounds pass by Nichols and threw down a dunk to tie the game at 10-10 with 13:24 to go in the first half, Nichols went on a tear.

    While McNamara missed all six of his shots in the period, Nichols carried the load, scoring 15 points in less than seven minutes, his long shot from the right wing giving the Orange a 30-16 lead with 5:29 left.

    Blake Adams hit a 3 and layup off the glass and Brent Hackett made a pullup jumper in the lane to bring the Horned Frogs within 32-23 with 3:21 to go in the period. Nichols responded by hitting 3-pointers on consecutive trips down the court to boost the Syracuse lead at halftime to 40-25.

    "We didn't play very fast, and he (Boeheim) just wanted to try and move the tempo of the game a little bit," TCU coach Neil Dougherty said. "I think our kids were expecting so much zone that when they saw man-to-man they almost looked surprised."

    When Nichols cooled off in the second half, Devendorf took over. He made a trio of 3-pointers in the first seven minutes.

    Still, the Manhattan game was fresh on the Orange's mind. They blew a 24-point first-half lead against the Jaspers and somehow managed to overcome an 11-point deficit in the final 2:21 of regulation. So when Neiman Owens hit from the top of the key and Femi Ibikunle and Murry each converted two free throws to move TCU within 48-38 at 14:02, there was no panic.

    "It seemed like deja-vu all over," McNamara said. "But I think we did a pretty good job defensively. We have a lot of different lineups, and I think that can be a big advantage for us. That (the smaller lineup) gave us four shooters on the floor."

    Devendorf, who made his third straight start in place of junior Louie McCroskey, was one of them, and he keyed a 10-0 run that pretty much put the game out of reach. Devendorf hit a 3 off a feed from Matt Gorman and converted a three-point play, and Gorman followed with two free throws to boost the lead to 58-38 with 12:06 left.

    "Our kids played hard, but there were things we could do little about," Dougherty said. "We had to take our pick of who we were going to try and get after, and who we would roll the dice on."

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    TCU
    SYR
    Points 64 80
    FG Made-Attempted 22-68 (.324) 26-55 (.473)
    3P Made-Attempted 8-22 (.364) 12-29 (.414)
    FT Made-Attempted 12-17 (.706) 16-22 (.727)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 15 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 20

    2005-06 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    » Dec 3, 2005 @SYR 80, TCU 64Recap