The show at the Carrier Dome on Saturday afternoon featured the other Gerry. McNamara that is. The sophomore scored 26 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including six three pointers, had seven assists and three steals to lead Syracuse to a 96-73 win over Boston College in front of 22,075 fans.
The Orangemen are now 11-1 overall, 2-0 in BIG EAST play. Syracuse hits the road for a game at Missouri on Monday night. The win was the 11th straight for Syracuse which ties its longest win streak since opening the 1999-00 season with 19 consecutive victories. SU won 11 contests in a row last season, before losing to Pittsburgh on Jan. 18, 2003.
Head coach Jim Boeheim earned his 664th career victory tying the legendary John Wooden for 19th on the Division I all-time wins list. Wooden won 664 games as a head coach at Indiana State (1947-48) and UCLA (1949-75). Boeheim is nine wins shy of tying Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who is currently 18th on the list.
"There's no significance, " Boeheim said of tying the record. "The only comparisons between me and John Wooden are we both wear glasses and don't have a lot of hair."
While it was frigid outside, McNamara was hot for the Orange, in particular the last seven minutes of the game as he scored 13 of his 26 points, including three treys in a matter of three minutes and extended Syracuse's lead to 82-69 with 4:29 left.
"I think our guys – Billy (Edelin), Hak and Josh (Pace) - really know where to look for Gerry (McNamara)," Boeheim said. "They're looking for him, and if people make a mistake and forget about him, they're doing a tremendous job of finding him and getting him that open look."
With the score tied 19-19 in the first half, Syracuse held Boston College scoreless for 7:09 and went on a 21-0 run. Syracuse led 40-19 with 3:15 left in the half. Hakim Warrick who had 19 points and five rebounds on the afternoon, scored 10 points on the run, including six straight. Two free throws by the Eagles' Steve Hailey snapped the drought, but SU took a 20-point edge into the lockerroom, 49-29. Syracuse made 19 of its 27 field goal attempts in the period (70.4 percent), its best shooting half of the season.
"I thought the first half we got off to a slow start in the zone defensively, then probably played our best defense of the year in the first half after about a ten-minute stretch," Boeheim said. "We were very good on offense, really efficient. We attacked the match-up about as well as you can attack it. Hakim (Warrick) got us going early. He made some pretty tough shots that got us in the lead."
Boston College cut into Syracuse's lead in the second half, as it went on a 15-4 run of its own to cut SU's lead to 11, 55-44 at the 15:03 mark. Craig Smith's jumper put the Eagles to within six, 56-50, but Warrick scored five consecutive points to up the lead to 11 with 11:24 left.
Billy Edelin scored 17 points for the Orange. Smith led all scorers with 27 points. He also chipped in nine rebounds and two blocks. Jared Dudley and Sean Marshall each scored 15 points for the Eagles and Dudley was perfect from the line, connecting on all 11 of his free-throw attempts.
"It's a good win for us. It's good to start out the conference on a positive note. We're gonna get out of here tonight and we know Missouri's going to be ready and waiting. I think they've got a great team that's struggled this year, but they'll be ready on Monday night."
McNamara Hot Again As Orange Down BC
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