Friday , Nov , 12 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Orange open 2004-05 campaign with a bang

=== Orange open 2004-05 campaign with a bang ===

Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) – Hakim Warrick netted 19 points and Syracuse
roared out to an early 24-0 lead as the sixth-ranked Orange opened their
2004-05 season with a 104-54 pasting of Northern Colorado in the opening round
of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Carrier Dome.

Josh Pace contributed 13 points for Syracuse, which will host Princeton Friday
in the second round. Gerry McNamara drained 3-of-5 three-point attempts in an
11-point effort, while Darryl Watkins had 12 off the bench.

Freshman Sean Taibi finished with 16 points for Northern Colorado, a program
in only its second season at the Division I level and which managed just six
wins a year ago. The Bears will face Bucknell, which fell 61-48 to Princeton
in Thursday’s opener, on Friday in the consolation contest.

The Bears proved to be no match for a loaded Orange squad led by Warrick, a
preseason All-American who added 10 rebounds and five assists while sinking 8-
of-12 shots from the floor.

“It’s good to finally start off on the right track,” said Warrick. “Our
defensive intensity got our offense going. We got a lot of easy shots.”

Syracuse made good on 11 of its first 12 field-goal attempts and built a 24-0
lead until UNC’s Sean Nolen hit a shot from beyond the arc with 12:35 left in
the first half. A three-point play by Warrick with 6:17 remaining before
intermission gave the Orange a 30-point cushion (41-11) and they cruised into
the break with a 53-20 advantage.

“That’s how we wanted to come out,” McNamara said. “Any time you come out
against a team and get on them early, that can devastate them.”

The second half featured more of the same, as the Orange scored the first five
points of the period and continued to pad their sizeable lead. A Pace layup
with 14:19 to play put Syracuse up 74-24 and the hosts went up by as much as
55 points at one point.

Northern Colorado shot just 25.4 percent (18-of-71) for the night.

Syracuse forward Terrence Roberts sprained his left knee in the second half
and did not return.

Northern Colorado head coach Craig Rasmuson is a native of Victor, NY, which
is 72 miles west of Syracuse.

The Bears faced their first nationally-ranked Division I opponent since a
February 2, 1957 meeting against No. 17 Idaho State.