Feb. 6, 2005
By JOHN KEKIS
AP Sports Writer
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Gerry McNamara scored 22 points, Hakim Warrick had 20 and Syracuse staged a furious late rally to beat Notre Dame 60-57 on Saturday night before a record on-campus crowd.
It was the first game for No. 8 Syracuse (21-2, 8-1 Big East) since a 76-69 loss at 16th-ranked Pittsburgh a week ago, and it was a struggle all the way despite the overwhelming support of an NCAA on-campus record crowd of 33,199. Notre Dame (13-6, 5-4) was coming off an impressive win over Connecticut and led virtually the whole game until the final four minutes.
The orange-clad crowd seemed set for a big disappointment when Francis converted a three-point play to put Notre Dame up 50-39 with 6:05 left.
With McNamara playing with four fouls, Warrick took over inside, slamming home three dunks and hitting two free throws as the Orange used a pressing defense to go on an 11-0 run. McNamara, who missed all five of his 3-point attempts in the first half, hit his third straight 3 of the second to pull Syracuse to 50-48 as the Carrier Dome crowd erupted with a deafening roar.
Quinn was then called for a 5-second violation, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey protested and received a technical, and McNamara drained two free throws to tie it at 50 with 3:24 left.
McNamara, who scored 18 points in the half, was fouled by Thomas while attempting a 3 with 1:48 left and hit all three free throws to put Syracuse up 55-52.
Francis' turnaround jumper in the lane made it 56-54 with 32.6 seconds left, but McNamara hit four more free throws to finish 11-for-11 from the line and keep Syracuse in front.
But after Dennis Latimore's dunk with 19.5 seconds left, Terrence Roberts missed four straight foul shots for Syracuse and Thomas nearly sent the game into overtime. But his desperation heave from beyond half court at the buzzer hit the rim and caromed away.
In the first half, the Irish held Syracuse without a basket for 4:10, but when Warrick scored his first basket of the game on a turnaround jumper in the lane to end the drought at 7:46, the Orange trailed only 13-10. Notre Dame was just 11-for-31 from the field and 4-for-14 on 3-pointers in the period.
Consecutive 3-pointers by Thomas and Quinn gave the Irish a 21-12 lead with 4:18 remaining in the half before Syracuse rallied to 21-18 on a jumper in the lane by Warrick at 2:42.
Syracuse, which entered the game shooting 50 percent, scored a season-low 20 points in the first half and shot just 33.3 percent, missing all six of its 3-point attempts.
Syracuse was 21-for-32 on free throws, while the Irish were only 6-for-17.