Wednesday , Nov , 09 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

No. 16 Syracuse crushes Bethune-Cookman in season opener

=== No. 16 Syracuse crushes Bethune-Cookman in season opener ===

Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) – Terrence Roberts scored 15 points as No. 16
Syracuse throttled Bethune-Cookman, 68-37, in the opening round of the 2K
Sports College Hoops Classic at the Carrier Dome.

Demetris Nichols added 11 points and Josh Wright scored 10 for the Orange, who
won on the first night of games in the Division I season.

Syracuse (1-0), the event’s defending champion, will host Cornell in the next
round on Wednesday. Cornell beat St. Francis (PA), 75-54. The Orange cruised
despite senior guard Gerry McNamara being held to five points in 32 minutes.

“If they’re going to play him that tough, he’s going to create openings for
other people,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said of McNamara. “He didn’t
pass up any shots. We’ve got guys who can score, we have some balance there.
He’s going to be played tough all year.”

Antonio Webb had 15 points and Mike Williams scored 11 for the Wildcats (0-1),
who shot just 27 percent from the field, compared to 48 percent for Syracuse.

Boeheim, who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September, began
his 30th season as head coach at Syracuse. The Orange, who captured the NCAA
championship in 2003 but were upset by Vermont in overtime in the opening
round of the most recent NCAA Tournament, gave their head coach a win despite
24 turnovers.

“We have to be able to cut down on them,” Roberts said. “That was our main
downfall tonight.”

Three-pointers by Louie McCroskey and Nichols in the opening minute set the
tone, and the Orange exploded for 11 straight points later in the half for a
25-10 lead. Darryl Watkins had an emphatic block, leading to a Roberts jam for
a 20-10 contest, and McNamara’s three-pointer capped the burst with 5:08 left
until halftime.

It was textbook ball distribution for the Orange. Nichols had nine points and
Roberts eight in the opening 20 minutes, and Syracuse had an assist on every
made field goal in the half, which ended with the Orange holding a comfortable
35-16 advantage.

A free throw by Watkins extended the margin to 38-18 early in the second
half and Syracuse stayed comfortably ahead the remainder of the contest. The
lead didn’t grow to 30 points until there was a minute left, when Eric
Devendorf hit two free throws to account for the final margin.

Game Notes

This tournament benefits Coaches vs. Cancer…Syracuse beat Memphis in the
final of the event last year…Roberts went 6-of-7 from the field and had six
rebounds…Watkins had nine boards…Syracuse went 20-of-31 at the foul line,
compared to 4-of-9 for the Wildcats.