Friday , Dec , 22 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Orange attempt get back on track against Hofstra

Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) – The 23rd-ranked Syracuse Orange are coming off
a home loss to an unranked foe, and the team will attempt to prevent that
from happening again as it hosts the Hofstra Pride tonight.

Hofstra lost its first three games of the season by a total of nine points,
but the team has rallied to turn things around. In fact, the Pride has won
six straight contests since that point, and the most recent triumph came
back on December 12th over Saint Francis of New York by a 67-64 final.
Hofstra has only one win in its history over a ranked opponent, and that came
last season over a George Mason squad that went on to reach the Final Four.

Syracuse hopes to erase the painful memory of Tuesday’s 84-79 loss to
Drexel at the Carrier Dome. The Orange are 9-3 this season, and their other
two losses came by a total of seven points to nationally-ranked foes
Oklahoma State and Wichita State.

Syracuse won its only two previous series meetings with Hofstra.

Hofstra led St. Francis (NY) by six points at intermission last time out and
managed to hold on for the narrow win despite shooting a lowly 34.6 percent
from the floor in the second half. The Price committed only nine turnovers in
the clash and earned an 18-11 edge in points from the foul line. Loren Stokes
was tremendous in the triumph, as he poured in 25 points. Carlos Rivera netted
19 points, and Antoine Agudio contributed 15 points. Those three players
formed the nation’s highest scoring backcourt trio entering this season, and
they certainly haven’t disappointed anyone through the first nine games.
Stokes is scoring 21.8 ppg on 51.4 percent shooting from the field. Agudio
adds 18.0 ppg to the mix, and Rivera rounds out the threesome with 11.7 ppg.
While Hofstra isn’t a particularly deep team, the three standouts give
the team a chance in every game.

Syracuse led Drexel by seven points at intermission on Tuesday and led by as
many as 10 points in that contest, but a 31.7 percent shooting effort from the
floor over the final 20 minutes resulted in defeat. The Orange turned the ball
over 18 times, overshadowing the fact that they earned a 44-36 rebounding
advantage and a 21-14 edge in points from the foul line. Demetris Nichols
scored 31 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead the way in the loss,
and Darryl Watkins posted 14 points and 13 rebounds. Josh Wright pitched in 11
points for the Orange, who are averaging 78.2 ppg while limiting opponents to
65.2 ppg. Nichols is scoring 19.6 ppg on 50 percent shooting from the floor,
including 49.3 percent accuracy from behind the arc. Paul Harris is scoring
11.3 ppg, and Eric Devendof adds 11.1 ppg.