No. 5 Syracuse 77, No. 24 Memphis 62

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NEW YORK (AP)—Syracuse’s stars got the Orange a tournament title.

Hakim Warrick had 25 points, and Gerry McNamara added 21 to lead No. 5 Syracuse to a 77-62 victory over No. 24 Memphis on Friday night in the championship game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.

Warrick, a senior forward, and McNamara, a junior guard, were the key players as Syracuse (4-0) closed the game with a 26-11 run over the final eight minutes. Both were on the Orange’s national championship team two seasons ago and they were two of five returning starters this year.

“The veteran players made plays down the stretch, and most teams don’t get that luxury,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “This was Gerry’s best effort. He was a little slow starting, but this was his best effort.”

Rodney Carney, coming off a career-high 33 points in the semifinals, had 20 points in the first half for Memphis (3-1). But he had just five points in the second half, two in the final 30 seconds.

“Our defense was good but Rodney cooled down a little bit which was the difference in the game,” Boeheim said.

The win evened Syracuse’s record at Madison Square Garden to 69-69, 49-36 under Boeheim.

Despite Carney’s first-half heroics, Syracuse led 31-29 at the break. The game was tied for the last time at 51-51 with 8:19 to play and Warrick, the tournament MVP, and McNamara took over.

The Orange scored on all but one of their next 11 possessions. A turnaround by Warrick made it 67-59 with 3:29 left and McNamara then scored on a three-point play after running the shot clock down to 5 seconds. After a miss by Memphis, he found Terrence Roberts for a dunk that made it a 13-point game with less then two minutes to play.

“We’re a pretty good team,” said McNamara, who didn’t touch a ball for three months after last season as he recovered from a leg injury. “We have the ability to be very good.”

Syracuse beat No. 12 Mississippi State 71-58 in the semifinals, another game it didn’t take control of until the second half.

“Gerry opens a lot of things for me,” Warrick said. “Things are a lot different when you get confidence.”

Carney was 5-for-13 from 3-point range for the Tigers, but he was 1-for-6 in the second half when Syracuse did a better job of finding him with their 2-3 zone. Sean Banks and Darius Washington each had 13 points for the Tigers, who beat Saint Mary’s 81-66 in the semifinals.

“You can tell they are more of a veteran team than us,” Memphis coach John Calipari said. “When it came time to winning time, we didn’t execute the way they did.

“The biggest thing is for our guys to be honest with themselves. It is a great lesson. They played well. We had our chances down the stretch and they played well.”

Memphis beat Syracuse 70-63 in this event two years ago when each team played just one game. This year there were 16 teams in the field and the semifinalists advanced to New York.

“This was a big statement to beat two Top 25 teams in November,” Warrick said. “People usually give us a hard time about our nonconference schedule so this really says a lot of this team.”

Mississippi State beat Saint Mary’s 67-54 in the third-place game.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
G. McNamara G. McNamara
5-11,  21 Pts
4 Rebs, 4 Assists
R. Carney R. Carney
9-21,  25 Pts
4 Rebs, 5 Assists

Team Stat Leaders