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'Cuse's Edelin sunk career-high 28 points

12/31/2003

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- When Syracuse let Canisius back in the
game, Billy Edelin almost singlehandedly took it back.

Edelin had a career-high 28 points and added nine assists and
nine rebounds to lead the Orangemen (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) to an 87-70 victory
over Canisius on Tuesday night.

Taking advantage of the extra attention Canisius was giving
shooting guard Gerry McNamara and forward Hakim Warrick, Edelin
sparked a 9-0 run early in the second half after the Golden
Griffins had rallied within 41-38 at halftime

Edelin hit two driving layups, then fed McNamara for a 3-pointer
to give Syracuse a 52-42 lead at 15:53.

"I was just feeling good," said Edelin, who was 14-of-17 from
the field, most of them on his signature spinning moves in the lane
close to the basket. "Every time I would get the ball, I was just
trying to make a play, whether it was for myself or one of my
teammates."

It was the eighth straight victory for Syracuse (8-1) and also
the Orangemen's 17th straight over Canisius (4-7), which lost its
fourth in a row overall.

McNamara had 21 points, Warrick finished with 19 points and nine
rebounds, and Josh Pace had six points, nine rebounds and five
assists for Syracuse.

Kevin Downey led the Golden Griffins with 16 points, while
Dewitt Doss added 15.

Canisius rallied to 52-47 on a follow shot by Chuck Harris and a
free throw by Yaku Moton-Spruill at 12:30.

But Warrick hit a turnaround jumper, Edelin penetrated for a
5-foot jumper in the lane, and Warrick converted a three-point play
to give the Orangemen a 59-49 lead at 10:26.

"He's a good player who can see a breakdown," Moton-Spruill
said. "He's just got that move where he can step back with that
spin. We would have liked to have stopped it, but he's a good
player."

Edelin was coming off an 11-point, 11-assist performance against
North Carolina-Asheville on Sunday, his second double-double of the
season. By the time he realized he was near Syracuse's first
triple-double since Allen Griffin turned the trick against
Pittsburgh nearly three years ago, it was too late.

"With about a minute-and-a-half left, Griff told me," Edelin
said, smiling. "That's when Coach took me out, so I didn't get a
chance to get it. But that's OK. I'll have to get another one."

The Golden Griffins gained a 23-18 lead at 8:31 of the first
half after a 3-pointer from the top of the key by Toby Foster and
two free throws by Ron Wyatt.

Edelin led the Orangemen back on a 15-0 run, feeding Warrick for
a dunk and then scoring six straight points. A 3-pointer from the
left wing by McNamara and Edelin's follow shot gave Syracuse a
35-25 lead with 4:51 to go.

Canisius rallied over the final 2 minutes, getting layups by Jon
Ferris and Downey and another by Doss at the buzzer off a turnover
by McNamara.

Despite the convincing victory, Syracuse's veteran big men
sputtered. Center Craig Forth had just two points -- on free throws
-- in 12 minutes, and Jeremy McNeil didn't score and had only two
rebounds in 13 minutes.

"I'm very disappointed on our inside play," coach Jim Boeheim
said. "We're getting seven or eight opportunities where Billy or
Josh are getting in the lane, centers are coming over to help, and
we can't get the offensive rebound with a 6-foot-1 guy standing
next to us. That's disappointing.

"I can't tell you how discouraging it is for our big guys not
to be better in there at this stage of the year."