Saturday , Nov , 13 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Warrick helps Orange get by Princeton

Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) – Hakim Warrick poured in a game-high 20 points
with six rebounds to lead No. 6 Syracuse to a 56-45 victory over Princeton in
the second round of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Carrier Dome.

Warrick shot 6-of-9 from the field and also had three steals and two blocks on
the way to getting named Most Valuable Player of the Syracuse Region.

“We really try to get him the ball,” said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. “In this
game, he had 10 free throws, nine field goal attempts and five turnovers. I
thought he was effective when he got the ball.”

Demetris Nichols added 14 points for the Orange (2-0), who will now travel to
Madison Square Garden for their semifinal tilt against 12th-ranked Mississippi
State Thursday.

Will Venable paced the Tigers (1-1) with 17 points, hitting every shot that
left his hand. He made all five of his field goals, including one from long
range, and was 6-for-6 from the line to go with his six boards. Princeton
still dropped its fifth straight to the Orange despite another 11 points from
Judson Wallace.

The tandem of Venable and Wallace helped bring the Tigers back from a 10-point
deficit midway through the second half, but it was all Syracuse from there.

Gerry McNamara drained a three-pointer to cap a 7-1 rally that handed the
Orange a 47-41 edge with 6:08 to play.

Princeton tallied just four more points the rest of the way, all on free
throws by Venable.

His last pair trimmed the margin to 52-45 with 1:24 left, but the Orange
wouldn’t let the Tigers get any closer, netting the final four points.

Each team had a big run in the first half. After McNamara’s three opened the
game, Venable had six points during a 14-2 burst to help Princeton out to a
14-5 lead.

It was a stark contrast from the Orange’s first game against Northern Colorado
when they scored the first 24 points of the night on the way to a 104-54 rout.

The Orange came right back with three straight buckets, including a three-
pointer by Nichols, to get within 14-12 just inside the nine-minute mark.

Syracuse closed out the half with six straight points, thanks to a pair of
Princeton turnovers in the final minute, for a 28-22 advantage.

“I thought Demetris Nichols made some big plays in the first half,” said
Boeheim. “When you get behind 14-5 to Princeton, it usually means you will be
lucky if you can get back in the game or it will go to the wire. We did a
pretty good job of finding Hakim Warrick.”

The margin grew to as much as 10 on Warrick’s three-point play three minutes
into the second half.

But Venable and Wallace wouldn’t let the Tigers go away quietly. The duo did
all the scoring during a 10-2 spurt that cut the difference to two, 36-34,
with a little over 12 minutes remaining.

A lay-in by Luke Owings near the midway point knotted the game at 37 apiece,
and Nichols and Max Schafer then traded threes to leave the teams all square
at 40-40.

The Orange now lead the all-time series, 24-9, with Princeton’s last win in
1964 at MSG behind Bill Bradley’s 36 points.