Jan 17, 2004
By TOM COYNE
AP Sports Writer
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Hakim Warrick took off far from the basket, soared high and came down with a one-handed slam for a highlight-reel dunk.
It was the beginning of the end for Notre Dame.
Warrick’s high-flying jam sparked No. 17 Syracuse to an 81-70 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday.
The Orangemen, who had shot just 5-of-16 until then, made their next six shots during a 13-0 run to move ahead 23-15. They never trailed again.
“Everything Notre Dame tried to do defensively, we caught it,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “Everything they tried to do, we had an answer for.”
With Warrick powering his way past Irish defenders and Billy Edelin darting down the lane for layups to score 15 of his 17 points in the second half, the Orangemen (13-1, 3-0 Big East) dominated down low.
They outscored the Irish (8-5, 2-2) 46-26 inside, including 30-16 in the second half, and easily beat Notre Dame for the fifth straight time.
“With all of the big men Notre Dame has, I’m surprised they didn’t have more buckets in the paint,” Warrick said. “Going in, we were expecting them to have 40 to 50 points through their big men.”
Warrick had 19 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks, two steals and two assists. But his inside moves and dunks were most impressive.
“He hits the shots when he spins off of you,” said Torin Francis, who led the Irish with 17 points and 10 rebounds. “I tried to put my body on him and not give him space, but once you give him space, he goes to the bucket every time.”
Boeheim said he sat Edelin for a few minutes after he started the first half shooting 1-of-5 from the field.
“He was careless and wasn’t making good plays,” Boeheim said. “When I put him back in, he made the plays.”
Gerry McNamara also had 17 points for the Orangemen, who have won 13 straight since a season-opening loss to Charlotte. Josh Pace added 12 points for Syracuse, which finished with only eight turnovers.
The defending national champions have beaten the Irish in 10 of the last 11 meetings.
“We are not in Syracuse’s territory, not this team, not right now,” Irish coach Mike Brey said.
Tom Timmermans, who was 7-of-10 shooting, finished with a career-high 16 points for the Irish. Chris Quinn also had 16 points, and Chris Thomas added 13 on 5-of-18 shooting.
Timmermans said the Irish were simply outhustled.
“They got more loose balls than us,” he said. “We have to come up with those to win the game. We need to have people diving on the floor. We didn’t really do that.”
Francis scored inside and hit a free throw to complete a three-point play that cut Syracuse’s lead to 48-47 with 14:39 left. But the Orangemen quickly responded with a 14-6 run, with Edelin scoring seven points. They put it away with a 9-0 run late.
“We missed some easy shots, but we moved the ball, looked around for each other and were unselfish,” Boeheim said.