Bearcats Rule the Boards, Dismiss Orange

Syracuse was out-rebounded 44 to 25 Wednesday in the Orange's 17-point loss to Cincinnati at the Carrier Dome. If you want an explanation for the 82-65 final score, coach Jim Boeheim says look no further than the big guys on his team.

"For our big guys, we're going to go the way they go," Boeheim said. "Mookie (Daryll Watkins) had a dominant game against St. John's against two pretty good inside big guys, but without him and Terrence (Roberts) doing something inside, we aren't going to finish these games. That's what happened tonight."

The dominant game Boeheim referred to was a 14-rebound, 11-point outing by Watkins in Syracuse's 75-60 win over St. Johns Sunday.

This game was a different story. Watkins and Roberts finished the game with eight combined rebounds. That's the same number of boards, 5-foot, 11-inch Cincinnati guard Jihad Muhammad ended the game with. Watkins didn't know what to say to explain the rebounding problems.

"I don't know," he said looking up with shrugged shoulders. "We could have done a little better, but it's a team effort."

Point guard Gerry McNamara was puzzled as well, but agreed with Watkins.

"I'm not a rebounding specialist," McNamara said. "(But) we all have to know our positions. We have to know to get back in the lane and fight for a rebound. Eric (Devendorf) has to know (that). Half of it is heart, half of it's wanting the ball."


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