January 5, 2007


SU beaten by Pitt in Big East opener


Associated Press/KevinRivoli
Syracuse’s Eric Devendorf reacts after Syracuse turned the ball over to Pittsburgh on a foul late in the second half at the Carrier Dome Thursday. Pittsburgh won, 74-66.

AP Sports Writer

SYRACUSE — When Syracuse rallied within a basket of Pittsburgh late in the second half Thursday night, the 10th-ranked Panthers called a timeout with the shot clock winding down.
When play resumed, Antonio Graves was left all alone in the right corner and hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left on the clock. That was every bit as important in Pitt’s 74-66 victory as Levance Fields’ career-high 24 points or the 11 shots Syracuse’s Demetris Nichols missed.
“It was a nice sign,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “The execution was very solid. We didn’t seem to waver. We showed patience. We didn’t take a quick shot after the crowd got into it.”
The game was a rematch of the final of the Big East tournament last season, which the Orange won 65-61 at Madison Square Garden. The Panthers (13-2) have won nine of the last 12 meetings with Syracuse (11-4) and three of the last four in the Carrier Dome.
“I was hurt after the Big East championship, “ said Fields, who missed all four of his shots and did not score in that loss. “I’ve been thinking about this game.”
Fields was 9-for-15 from the field, including 3-of-7 on 3-pointers as he scored 16 points in the second half. Ronald Ramon had 12 points for the Panthers, Graves nine and Mike Cook eight, while Aaron Gray had nine points and nine rebounds.
“They’ve got shot makers,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “That’s the one thing they have this year that they didn’t have last year — a lot more guys that can shoot the ball from the perimeter.”
Fields said: “It’s a knock on us that we don’t have a go-to guy, but we feel everyone is a go-to guy down the stretch, and I think that makes us even more dangerous.”
After both teams struggled with 3-for-12 shooting from beyond the arc in the first half, Pitt went 6-of-10 after the break while the Orange were 2-for-7. Nichols, who had scored 20 or more points in six straight games, was 1-for-6 in the second half and finished 4-for-15 overall, taking several off-balance shots, many of them contested.
“It’s just one game,” Nichols said. “The shots that I missed tonight I know they’re going to go down (next time). It was one of those nights. We need to execute our offense. There were times tonight that we broke down.”
Syracuse led the entire first half, but the first breakdown was costly. Pitt scored the first seven points_of the second half and never lost_the lead.
Eric Devendorf had 17 points and Darryl Watkins added 11 points and eight rebounds for the Orange, who lost at home for the third time this season and dropped to 0-3 against ranked teams this season, also losing to Wichita State and Oklahoma State.
Terrence Roberts had six points for Syracuse in his first appearance since spraining his left knee 2 1/2 games ago, but he had to leave this game when his head hit the floor hard early in the second half after an elbow from Levon Kendall.
Roberts’ mouth was bloodied in the exchange and he received stitches in the locker room before returning to the bench midway through the period. Syracuse also played without reserve forward Matt Gorman, who sprained his left ankle in practice on Wednesday, leaving just seven healthy bodies for the game.



Rockets still on top

The DeRuyter volleyball team stayed perfect after four Central Counties league matches and improved to 6-3 overall Thursday with a 25-4, 25-13, 25-16 win over visiting Stockbridge Valley.
McGraw, meanwhile, lost to host Brookfield 14-25, 25-21, 25-12, 25-8 in another CCL match.
DeRuyter 3, Stockbridge Valley 0: The girls played great in the first game, and pretty well in the second,” Rockets coach Gary Burdick said. “I thought they kind of lost their focus in the third game, and they have to be sure to keep their focus for Cincinnatus.”
DeRuyter visits the Red Lions this evening, following a 4:30 p.m. boys’ JV basketball game between the two schools.
Kristi Custer had eight aces, six kills, a block and seven assists for DeRuyter against Stockbridge Valley, while Jen Cizenski had three aces, three kills and seven assists, Aubrey Schelah six aces and three kills, Brandi Henry six aces and two kills and Chelsea Way three kills.
Brookfield 3, McGraw 1: Sarah Bilodeau had five assists and six digs, Jen Rutan four kills, seven digs and four blocks and Julie Hewes five kills and two aces for the Eagles, now 1-3 league and 5-4 overall.
“The girls came out pretty aggressive, with good intensity and playing well in the first game,” McGraw coach Andy Smith said. “After that the intensity dropped and they weren’t as aggressive at all. They started making mistakes, and the games got progressively worse. It’s been like that for us all season, up and down.”
McGraw visits Stockbridge Valley Monday.



Cincy CA records league hoops sweep

CINCINNATUS — Returning to action after the holiday break, both Cincinnatus Christian Academy teams used strong first-quarter efforts to post Empire State Christian Athletic League victories over visiting Finger Lakes Christian School Thursday.
Ben Hicks scored 18 points and pulled down 16 rebounds to lead the Cincy CA boys to an 83-44 rout while Libby Perrott netted 12 points and 18 rebounds during a 26-23 win for the girls.
Cincinnatus CA boys 83, FL Christian 44: Cincinnatus (2-3 league and overall) raced to a 21-5 lead in the first quarter and 15 more points in the second quarter allowed the Eagles to enjoy a 36-10 halftime advantage.
P.J. Passalacqua added 14 points and 16 rebounds to the winning effort while Michael Kuss netted 16 points with 10 rebounds. Aaron Blanchard also hit double figures with 14 points.
Aaron Poria led Finger Lakes Christian (0-5) with 17 points with Jared LeBlanc adding 14 points.
Cincinnatus CA girls 26, FL Christian 23: Cincinnatus (1-4 league and overall) scored 15 points in the first quarter for a 15-8 lead and never looked back. The Eagles led by nine points, 19-10, at halftime and 22-13 through three quarters.
Finger Lakes (0-5) mounted a comeback in the fourth-quarter, but fell short.
Hannah McGowan added six points to the Cincinnatus winning effort while Ally Eckert and Ally Taylor netted nine and eight points, respectively, for the visitors.
Cincinnatus Christian Academy returns to ESCAL action today against Penn Yan Emmanuel. The girls tip-off at 5 p.m. with the boys to follow at 6:30 p.m.