Monday , Feb , 20 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Syracuse edges 14th-ranked West Virginia

=== Syracuse edges 14th-ranked West Virginia ===

Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) – Gerry McNamara had a horrendous night
shooting, but came up with a huge offensive rebound off a missed free throw
at the end of the game to help Syracuse to a 60-58 win over No. 14 West
Virginia at the Carrier Dome.

McNamara entered the contest averaging a team-best 16.5 points per game, was
limited to five on 2-of-14 shooting. However, the senior guard had nine
assists and came up with a huge board among four Mountaineers at the end of
the contest.

Eric Devendorf scored 17 points for the Orange, while Terrence Roberts tallied
16 points and 10 rebounds. Darryl Watkins scored 10 to go along with nine
boards for the Orange (19-8, 7-6 Big East), who have won back-to-back contests
in their quest to reach the NCAA Tournament for a fourth straight season. The
Orange have games remaining at Georgetown and DePaul before hosting powerhouse
Villanova to end the regular season.

Kevin Pittsnogle scored 20 points and Patrick Beilein added 18, but missed a
crucial three-point try with 5.1 seconds remaining. The Mountaineers (18-8,
9-4) have lost a three in a row, tying a season-high.

Syracuse, which defeated West Virginia in the Big East Conference Tournament
title game last March, has won the eight most recent encounters versus the
Mountaineers.

A hook shot by Roberts represented the final points of the game with 2:28
remaining. Pittsnogle then missed a three-pointer and another jumper before
throwing the ball away on a low pass attempt to Johannes Herber under the
basket with just over a minute left.

McNamara though lost the ball on the drive attempt to the hoop, but Beilein
failed on his three-point try from the left wing with Roberts pulling down the
rebound. The Mountaineers had to foul three times just to force a 1-and-1 with
McNamara going to the line with 1.8 seconds left.

McNamara’s attempt caromed long off the rim, and he stepped in between four
defenders to corral the ball and allow time to expire.

Five straight points from McNamara, including a layup, capped an impressive
9-2 start for Syracuse. A Watkins basket extended the Orange to a 23-14
advantage with 6:16 remaining in the half, but the Mountaineers came charging
back.

An 11-2 spurt to close the half put West Virginia ahead 30-29 at the break.
Darris Nichols, Pittsnogle and Beilein all hit three-pointers during the
spurt.

A Pittsnogle three-pointer moved West Virginia to a 37-33 lead, but Syracuse
scored the next eight points, capped by a Devendorf three.

The Orange held a 56-51 lead, but the Mountaineers tied the game at 58 on a
Pittsnogle three-pointer with four minutes left.

Game Notes

Syracuse has finished with a below .500 record in the Big East only once, in
the 1980-81 season, but the Orange won the conference tournament that
year…The Mountaineers didn’t attempt a free throw, while Syracuse was 4-
of-7…WVU was 12-of-33 from beyond the arc, compared to 6-of-19 for the
Orange…Syracuse leads the series with West Virginia, 29-15. Syracuse has
claimed 18 of the 21 home-court matchups with the Mountaineers…Roberts was
8-of-9 from the field.

SYRACUSE WVIRGINIA