Elite Eight: Orangemen leave Sooners feeling blue

Syracuse dashes Oklahoma's hopes for a second straight trip to the Final Four, 63-47. Oklahoma finishes the season at 27-7. Pictured left: Kueth Duany defends against Johnnie Gilbert of the Oklahoma Sooners during the first half.

ALBANY, N.Y. - Hollis Price and Quannas White's dream is over.

Oklahoma's run to a second straight Final Four in the hometown of their senior backcourt ended Sunday in the East Regional final with a 63-47 loss to Syracuse.

The duo from New Orleans combined for only 10 points on 4-of-25 shooting and nine turnovers against a tough Syracuse 2-3 zone. Price finished with eight points while White added two.

"I thought that their zone was a factor," said Oklahoma Head Coach Kelvin Sampson. "To play well against a zone you've obviously got to have great guard play. Tonight, our guards obviously didn't play as well as they were capable of playing. But give credit to Syracuse, they're a really good team."

Oklahoma, which shot just 31 percent (18-for-58) from the field, found themselves playing from behind from the outset as Syracuse jumped out to a an early 10-3 lead.

Oklahoma weathered the storm and came back to take a 17-16 lead midway through the first half on a De'Angelo Alexander three-pointer. But from that point on it was all Syracuse as the Orangemen closed the first half with a 14-3 run to take a 30-20 halftime lead.

Syracuse then scored the first eight points of the second half to break the game open for good with a 38-20 lead with 15:32 to go. The Sooners would make a late run, but never got any closer than 11 points.

"We knew going in that this was a tough matchup for us," said Sampson. "I don't think we played as well as we're capable of playing, but when you get on this stage and setting you have to play good today."

Alexander, a true freshmen from Midwest City, led the Sooners with 14 points while Carmello Anthony paced the Orangemen with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Oklahoma was doomed by their poor shooting from the perimeter, hitting just 5-of-28 from behind the three-point line. Syracuse shot 52 percent from the field.

The Sooners finish the 2003 season at 27-7.

OU-Syracuse Box Score: SoonerSports.com


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