NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- Carmelo Anthony started his career with
a fine performance in the first game of the college basketball
season. He turned in another that ensured he will play in the
last game of the season.
Anthony poured in a career-high 33 points and fellow freshman
Gerry McNamara added 19 as Syracuse advanced to its third
national championship game with a 95-84 victory over Texas.
Syracuse (29-5) will make its third appearance in the national
title game and first since 1996. The Orangemen improved to 4-0
against Big 12 Conference foes this season and face another in
Kansas on Monday.
As he has been for much of the season, Anthony was the catalyst.
The freshman sensation had a spectacular debut with 27 points
and 11 rebounds in a loss to Memphis that kicked off the college
basketball season on November 14, and he's only gotten better.
The Orangemen took control with a 19-5 tear that opened a 78-66
advantage with just under seven minutes too go. Anthony capped
the run with a long jumper and a reverse dunk.
Texas (26-7) pulled within 89-84 on Brian Boddicker's 3-pointer
with 67 seconds left and called a timeout.
With Anthony inbounding, Syracuse seemed headed for a
five-second violation when he finally found an open Hakim
Warrick. Noticing his defender had turned his head, Anthony cut
to the basket, took a return feed and gently laid it in for a
91-84 edge with 40 seconds left.
Brandon Mouton scored 25 points to lead the Longhorns but was
limited to five in the second half.