Saturday , Dec , 16 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Baylor comes calling on Syracuse

Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) – The 23rd-ranked Syracuse Orange welcome the
Baylor Bears to the Carrier Dome for a non-conference clash.

Baylor is a solid 6-2 overall, and the team had an impressive four-game
winning streak snapped with a 64-59 loss to South Carolina in the most
recent outing last Saturday. The Bears are set to play a full season for
the first time in four years, and they have a full allotment of scholarships
once again now that the NCAA sanctions that plagued the program are in the
past. There are nine freshmen and sophomores on the roster, making Baylor one
of the nation’s youngest teams. Keep in mind that the Bears have lost 22
straight games against ranked opponents, as that is certainly good news for
Syracuse.

The Orange are set to face their fifth straight opponent with a winning
record, and the results have been mixed. The club did drop back-to-back
decisions to Wichita State and Oklahoma State by seven combined points after
winning seven straight games to open the campaign. Fortunately, Syracuse got
back on track last Saturday with a 79-52 romp over Colgate.

This game marks the first-ever meeting between Baylor and Syracuse on the
hardwood.

Against South Carolina last weekend, Baylor connected on only 5-of-24 three-
point attempts and shot just eight free throws. A 38-32 rebounding
disadvantage didn’t help matters either, and all of the negatives overshadowed
the fact that the squad turned the ball over only eight times. Aaron Bruce led
the way for Baylor with 15 points and five assists, and Kevin Rogers
contributed 14 points. Four players are averaging double figures in scoring
for the Bears, who are racking up 81.6 ppg on 50.2 percent shooting from the
floor despite the poor showing against the Gamecocks. Henry Dugat is tops for
the Bears with 13.9 ppg, and Rogers checks in with 12.8 ppg and 7.3 rpg.
Curtis Jerrells is contributing 12.5 ppg, and Bruce rounds out the foursome
with his 11.9 ppg and 5.3 apg.

Demetris Nichols was clearly the best player on the court in the win for
Syracuse over Colgate last weekend, as the standout forward netted 28 points
on 11-of-16 shooting from the floor, including 6-of-8 from three-point range.
Andy Rautins added 13 points for the Orange, and Terrence Roberts contributed
12 points. Syracuse led by only five points at intermission, but a 64 percent
shooting effort from the floor in the second half enabled the blowout. The
Orange limited Colgate to 33.3 percent overall shooting, and the margin of
victory would have been even greater than 27 points if not for the fact that
Syracuse shot 8-of-17 from the foul line. Nichols is currently averaging 17.6
ppg to lead his team by a comfortable margin. Eric Devendorf adds 11.9 ppg
from the backcourt, and Paul Harris is close behind with 11.3 ppg. Syracuse is
scoring 76.5 ppg while limiting its opponents to 62.8 ppg on 36.3 percent
shooting from the field.

BAYLOR SYRACUSE