MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Carmelo Anthony took care of the scoring, yet it was defense that helped Syracuse rally from a big
early deficit to dominate West Virginia.
Anthony had a career-high 29 points and 12 rebounds, and the
(No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) Orangemen held the Mountaineers to 37 percent shooting in the second half for a 94-80 win Saturday.
"I thought our defense was the difference today,'' Syracuse
coach Jim Boeheim said. "After the half, we forced them into a
smaller lineup, which allowed us to pound the ball inside.''
Syracuse (16-3, 7-2 Big East) trailed by 15 in the first half
but outscored West Virginia 48-33 in the second. The Orangemen shot
58 percent for the game, and outrebounded the Mountaineers 43-31.
"Syracuse is so talented. They have three or four guys who are
just hanging on the rim,'' West Virginia coach John Beilein said.
"We're not there defensively to play against a team like Syracuse.
We didn't have any answers today.''
Five Syracuse players scored in double figures, including three
freshmen. Billy Edelin had a career-high 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting in his seventh game.
"They have some sensational freshmen who play like veterans,''
Beilein said. "Their young guys rose to the occasion today.''
Anthony, one of the best freshmen in the country, recorded his
12th double-double of the season.
"Carmelo kept us in the game early. Offensively, it was his
best game of the season,'' Boeheim said. "Edelin did a tremendous
job getting into the lane and getting to the basket.''
Syracuse trailed 47-46 at halftime but used an 8-0 run 1:36 into
the second half to take a 54-47 lead. West Virginia didn't get
closer than four the rest of the way. A jumper by Gerry McNamara
put Syracuse ahead by 11 with 8:41 left, and a dunk by Hakim
Warrick with 3:52 to go gave the Orangemen their biggest lead at
Warrick's jam was the eighth in the second half for Syracuse.
Warrick had five, while Anthony had the remaining three.
"We were taking the ball up strong in the second,'' Anthony
said. "Me and Hakim energize each other by dunking. It gets us
hyped up when we get one.''
McNamara scored 14 points and added a career-high 12 assists.
Warrick had 18 points and Duany added 11.