Bison do it again: Bucknell stuns Syracuse at the Dome
Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) – Kevin Bettencourt scored 20 points and went 7-
of-8 from the charity stripe in the final two minutes, as Bucknell upset
17th-ranked Syracuse 74-69 at the Carrier Dome.
Charles Lee added 18 points and Chris McNaughton tallied 15 and grabbed 10
rebounds for Bucknell (2-0), which shot 53 percent from the floor and earned
its first-ever win over the Orange in nine lifetime meetings.
Demetris Nichols led Syracuse (3-2) with 19 points, while Gerry McNamara
scored 18 points but struggled beyond the arc (4-of-13). The Orange made just
9-of-24 three-pointers on the night.
Terrence Roberts added 12 points and grabbed 11 boards before fouling out for
Syracuse, which has lost two straight following a 3-0 start.
The Bison, who became a national darling after defeating Kansas in the first
round of the NCAA tournament last year, never let the Orange pull away before
taking control in the final three minutes.
With the game tied at 60, Bettencourt scored on a layup off a fast break to
give Bucknell its first lead since late in the first half. McNaughton then
forced conduct with a ball fake, then connected on the layup and subsequent
free throw to extend the advantage to 65-60 with 1:42 left.
After a Syracuse timeout, Roberts’ one-hand slam trimmed the lead back to
three, but Bettencourt connected on four straight free throws to increase the
lead to 69-62.
Syracuse extended the game by fouling and got as close as 73-69 on a McNamara
three-pointer with 13 seconds left, but the Bison converted their free throws
in crunch time to hold on.
Bucknell went on a 10-2 spurt midway through the opening half to take a 24-16
lead. Four different players scored and Lee capped the run with a layup in
traffic with 4:13 remaining.
The Orange responded, outscoring the Bison 12-3 the rest of the half to take a
28-27 lead. Trailing 27-22, Roberts completed a three-point play before
McNamara hit a three-pointer with four seconds left to put Syracuse out in
Roberts led all first-half scorers with 10 points, while Lee paced Bucknell
with nine points.
Bucknell began a season 2-0 for the first time since 2000-01 and won its first
two road contests for the first time since 1983-84…The victory was the first
for the Bison over Syracuse in nine tries…The Patriot League representative
improved to 3-1 against nationally ranked teams over the last two
seasons…The Bison return 11 of 12 letterwinners from last year’s NCAA
tournament squad…Bucknell played in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic last
season at the Carrier Dome, but did not play Syracuse during its 1-1
trip…Syracuse lost to Florida 75-70 in the finals of the Coaches
vs. Cancer Classic last Friday…Bucknell opened its season with a
56-54 victory over Rider on Friday…Syracuse grabbed 16 offensive
rebounds and converted them into 16 second chance points.