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Syracuse 64, Villanova 59

2/23/2004

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- Hakim Warrick and Gerry McNamara combined
for 36 points, 21 of them on free throws, to lead Syracuse to a
64-59 victory over Villanova on Monday night.

It was the third win in four games for the Orangemen (18-6, 8-5
Big East) and the fourth loss in five games for Villanova (14-12,
6-7 Big East). And it was a struggle all the way on both sides of
the ball -- there were 39 turnovers and 45 personal fouls.

Warrick was 4-for-10 from the floor and McNamara was 3-for-10,
but they were 21-for-24 from the foul line, and that helped seal
the Wildcats' fate. Josh Pace had 14 points and Louie McCroskey
finished with 10.

Curtis Sumpter had 12 points and Jason Fraser and Allan Ray each
scored 10 for Villanova, which went 7-for-23 (30.4 percent) on
3-pointers.

Syracuse, which was 24-for-32 on free throws, went on a 13-3 run
early in the second half and seemed to take charge after McNamara
hit four straight free throws, the last two after the Villanova
bench was called for a technical.

That gave the Orangemen a 43-33 lead with 9:50 to go, but the
Wildcats wouldn't quit.

Randy Foye, who finished with eight points, hit a 3-pointer from
the right corner, Fraser converted a fast-break dunk and Ray hit a
3 after stealing an inbounds pass as Villanova rallied to take a
49-48 lead with 4:50 to go.

Pace then drove the lane and hit a shot off the glass to give
Syracuse the lead, and the Orangemen never trailed again.

McCroskey hit a long 3 from the right wing to extend the
Orangemen's lead to 57-49 at 2:33 before the Wildcats rallied one
more time.

A follow shot by Foye and a three-point play by Will Sheridan
with 1:21 left cut the lead to 58-54. But McNamara, the Big East's
leading free throw shooter, hit six straight in the final 61
seconds to preserve an important win.