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Updated: Saturday, February 8, 2003 7:34 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(21) Syracuse 94, West Virginia 80
SYRACUSE ORANGEMEN
Syracuse Orangemen
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WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS
West Virginia Mountaineers
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MORGANTOWN, West Virginia (Ticker) -- Freshman Carmelo Anthony shook off his road woes in a big way.

Anthony scored a season-high 29 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as 21st-ranked Syracuse defeated Big East Conference rival West Virginia, 94-80, for its sixth win in seven games.

Anthony has established himself as one of the best players in the country in his first season with a 20.7 scoring average. He was averaging just 15 points per game on the road but made up for it Saturday with a 12-of-17 effort as the Orangemen overcame a rough start.

"Carmelo and Hakim (Warrick) came up big inside," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "To be down 15 on the road and come back is very good."

West Virginia (12-8, 3-5 Big East West) took a 16-6 lead on Drew Schifino's jumper nearly four minutes into the game and seized its largest advantage, 31-16, on a layup by Chaz Briggs with 11:35 to go before halftime.

The Mountaineers had little trouble with Syracuse's 2-3 zone early as 6-10 center Kevin Pittsnogle's outside shooting exploited it.

"Everything we worked on, we went out there and forgot it in the beginning of the game," Boeheim said. "We didn't want the big guy to shoot outside and he was."

Anthony made two foul shots and scored eight points in a 23-5 run as Syracuse (16-3, 7-2) surged ahead, 39-36. A 3-pointer by Patrick Beilein just before the buzzer gave the Mountaineers a 47-46 halftime edge.

Anthony dunked and scored six points in an 8-0 tear to open the second half, putting the Orangemen ahead for good. Hakim Warrick dunked twice and Anthony added a slam off an alley oop as an 11-2 run opened an 83-68 cushion with just under four minutes to go.

Warrick and freshman Billy Edelin each scored 18 points and Jeremy McNeil had four points and a pair of blocks to spark the first-half rally. Edelin made 8-of-11 shots in his best game since becoming eligible on January 18.

"We used our defense to get our offense going," Boeheim said. "Jeremy McNeil was impressive in the back. Billy came in and attacked their zone very well."

Warrick added eight rebounds to complement Anthony's effort as Syracuse held a 43-31 edge on the glass. Freshman Gerry McNamara netted 14 points and a season-high 12 assists.

West Virginia shot a dismal 37 percent (13-of-35) in the second half and misfired on 14-of-17 shots from beyond the arc over the final 20 minutes.

"It's tough to play a team with that kind of athletic character," West Virginia coach John Beilein said. "Syracuse has a lot of pieces that you need to play deep into March."

Syracuse shot 58 percent (39-of-67) and placed five players in double figures. Kueth Duany contributed 11 points and six rebounds.

Schifino fouled out with 25 points and Pittsnogle added 24 on 10-of-16 shooting for West Virginia, which dropped its third straight against a ranked opponent. But Schifino made 1-of-7 from beyond the arc and Tyrone Sally and freshman Johannes Herber combined to make just 2-of-9 as the Mountaineers had trouble keeping up with the fast-paced Orangemen.

"You're not going to beat them if the score is in the 80s or 90s," John Beilein said. "I was happy with the way we shot the ball, but it was a shame that we couldn't keep up."

West Virginia fell to 10-2 at home.


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