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Updated: Saturday, December 11, 2004 9:55 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(4) Syracuse 86, Binghamton 56

SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Chalk up another victory for Syracuse against an overmatched Empire State opponent.

Hakim Warrick scored 20 points and Gerry McNamara added 18 as the fourth-ranked Orange began a favorable stretch with an 86-56 drubbing of Binghamton.

Coming off a 74-60 loss to Oklahoma State in the Jimmy V Classic, Syracuse (8-1) posted its 32nd straight win against an in-state opponent. The Orange have won all four meetings against Binghamton by an average of 33.5 points.

Syracuse began a string of six straight home games to close out the calendar year. Over the next three weeks, the Orange will host Drexel, Cornell, Rice, Albany and Hofstra.

"We had a lot of positives out there tonight," Warrick said. "Our defense was a lot better."

Syracuse shot 53 percent (32-of-60) from the field, including 7-of-17 from 3-point range.

Binghamton (2-5) shot just 32 percent (21-of-66), taking nearly half its shots from the arc. The Bearcats attempted 32 3-pointers, making just seven.

Troy Hailey was the only player in double figures for Binghamton with 16 points.

Louie McCroskey chipped in a career-high 11 points in his first start for the Orange. He started in place of fellow sophomore Demetris Nichols, who was benched for poor play.

"I was a bit anxious at the beginning, but then I just tried to pick and choose my spots," McCroskey said. "It was good to play with the first team."

"Louie did a good job tonight," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim added. "He was patient. I thought he held his composure real well."

Binghamton stayed close in the first half, cutting a 15-point deficit to 36-28 at intermission.

"In the first half, we did a good job in our man-to-man defense," Boeheim said. "Our offense was the problem. We rushed things a bit. In the second half, we got a couple turnovers. That gave us momentum, and we moved the ball a lot better. I thought everybody contributed tonight. There were a lot of good signs."

The Orange quickly broke it open in the second half, scoring the first eight points to open a 44-28 lead on a free throw by Josh Pace. McCroskey's jumper made it 60-36 with 14:27 remaining.

Billy Edelin added 10 points for Syracuse, his best game since returning to the lineup December 1. He had been kept out of practice to concentrate on academics.

Syracuse played without Terrence Roberts, who injured his right thumb in practice Friday.


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