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19-4 first-half run sparks runaway

12/14/2003

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Syracuse's four freshmen finally showed
some spark, and that's a welcome sign for coach Jim Boeheim.

Terrence Roberts led the foursome with a season-high 12 points
Saturday night to lead Syracuse (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) to a 75-54 victory over
Binghamton. It was the third straight win for the Orangemen after a
season-opening loss to Charlotte and boosted their record to 4-0
all-time against Binghamton (3-5).

"We took coach's challenge," said Roberts, who scored nine of
his points in a span of less than three minutes to key a 19-4 run
in the first half. "He wanted us to step it up and play like he
knew we could play and be effective, don't go out there and be
nervous and timid all the time.

"I just got out there and did simple things, took my time. I
had fun. I didn't force anything."

Roberts, who also had five rebounds, was the lone Syracuse
player in double figures. Hakim Warrick finished with nine points
and seven rebounds, Gerry McNamara had nine points and Matt Gorman
added eight.

The other three freshmen combined for 14 points. Louie
McCroskey, who missed every practice and the first three games
because of academic problems before being reinstated last week, had
five points in five minutes in his first game for the Orangemen.
Darryl Watkins also finished with five points and Demetris Nichols
had four as a dozen players scored for Syracuse.

"Everybody got a chance tonight, and that's a good thing,"
said Boeheim, who spent the first five minutes of his postgame
press conference defending football coach Paul Pasqualoni, whose
job appeared in jeopardy after 4-8 and 6-6 seasons. "We just don't
have a way to score easily. Unless we can improve our defense and
our rebounds, those are the two real key things for us to do if
we're going to be a better team."

Brandon Carter led Binghamton with 13 points, while Troy Hailey
had 11, Sebastian Hermenier 10 and Nick Billings had nine points,
eight rebounds and three blocks.

Syracuse hadn't played in 10 days, since an 87-78 victory over
St. Bonaventure, and it showed at the outset. The Orangemen were
called for two shot-clock violations in the first nine minutes and
trailed 9-6, after a 3-pointer by Hermenier just over four minutes
in, against a team they beat 94-58 last season.

After Carter gave the Bearcats a 16-14 lead midway through the
first half, the Orangemen took control. McNamara's long jumper from
the left wing tied it at 16 and started the decisive spurt.

"This could be a good start for us," said Roberts, who had a
tip-in, a lay-in, a follow slam and a 3-pointer from the top of the
key in the first half. "We got Louie back, so we felt even more
comfortable."

Syracuse led 40-29 at halftime and went up 69-47 on a free throw
by Roberts with 3:40 remaining.

Carter's baseline floater with 7:46 left was the last basket of
the game for the Bearcats, who hit only seven free throws the rest
of the way.

Still, the outcome was a marked improvement for the Bearcats,
who dropped their previous two games in the Carrier Dome by a
combined 197-114.

"This is a great game to build on," Binghamton coach Al Walker
said.

"We can compete with anybody," Carter said. "We just ran out
of gas."