Edelin boosts Orange past Mountaineers

Billy Edelin is finally working his way back into the Syracuse rotation as the Orange head into the heart of their Big East schedule.

The junior guard scored a season-high 12 points and seven assists to help Syracuse (19-1, 6-0 Big East) past West Virginia (11-5, 1-4) 72-64 Saturday afternoon. Hakim Warrick scored 22 points and added 13 rebounds in front of 29,077 at the Carrier Dome, a season high.

"You want to go out there and help your team win," Edelin said. "So when you get in, you have to do what you can do."

Edelin had missed most of last season with personal issues and didn't play many of the early games this year as he slowly got back into playing shape. After a seven-steal effort against Notre Dame on Jan. 10, Edelin had quiet games in the previous two games.

But with Josh Pace and Gerry McNamara not scoring in the first half and the Orange shooting just 1-for-8 right 3-point land, Edelin provided a boost off the bench with eight points.

"They were worried about Gerry and Hakim. Billy is smart," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "He knows where to take advantage of that and get in open spaces. He can make shots. If people don't guard him he's going to make them pay."

Warrick provided the other part of the Syracuse first-half attack, leading the way with 16 points as Syracuse grabbed a 34-22 lead.

McNamara began to percolate in the second half, hitting three-straight 3-pointers to give Syracuse a 48-35 lead, but West Virginia managed to stay competitive with some long-range shooting of its own.

During McNamara's streak, Mike Gansey, Tyrone Sally and Joe Herber each responded from downtown. The teams traded baskets until Patrick Beilein's 3-pointer pulled the Mountaineers to within five with 32 seconds left. Beilein led West Virginia with 17.

"They kind of remind me of Notre Dame in how they shoot the ball from the outside," McNamara said. "Especially from in the zone, they were getting in a high post easily and doing a good job of finding shooters."

But McNamara and Warrick hit free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach. The Orange finished 16-for-18 from the line.

Syracuse travels to play Rutgers on Monday and will play at Pittsburgh five days later.

"Every game you play in this league is going to be a battle," Boeheim said. "Our league is very tough. This was a very good win."

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