Thriller goes to Orangemen, by a point

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- An NCAA tournament-type game came a

month early.

Freshman Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and Syracuse (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP)

held on to beat Michigan State 76-75 Sunday as the Spartans had

three chances to win the game in the final six seconds.

Kelvin Torbert hit rim on a short side jumper, Adam Ballinger

missed on a tap and Alan Anderson misfired from the lane after

grabbing a loose ball.

"It was a great game and it was fun to be a part of it,''

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said of a game with 12 lead changes and

11 ties. "It would not have been too fun to lose it.''

Syracuse (19-4) has won six of seven as it continues to be one

of the nation's hottest teams since joining the Top 25 for the

first time on Jan. 26.

"Out of all the wins we've had,'' Anthony said, "I think this

was probably the most important because it was on the road and it

was a must-win situation for them.''

Michigan State's Chris Hill scored a career-high 34 points,

including a Big Ten-record 10 3-pointers, but it wasn't enough to

give the Spartans (14-11) the win they needed to improve their

fading hopes of making the NCAA tournament.

"We played about as hard we could play, and as well as we could

play,'' Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "Chris Hill had an

incredible day. I'm disappointed to see him have a game like that

and not feel as good as he should feel.

"They deserve the credit. It's a game we could've won. I'm not

saying we should've won. It's just heartbreaking.''

Izzo believes the Spartans -- who have four wins against ranked

opponents, including one at then-No. 12 Kentucky -- need at least 17

victories to advance to a sixth straight NCAA tournament. The 2000

national champions play three of their last four games at home,

before the Big Ten tournament.

Michigan State sold out the Breslin Center for an 80th straight

time, and lost for just the fifth time during a stretch that began

in 1998.

"It was a great atmosphere and a terrific basketball game,''

Boeheim said.

The game was tied for an 11th time with 12 minutes left when

Hill made his ninth 3-pointer, which tied the school and Big Ten

record shared by five players.

Syracuse then scored six straight points to go up 67-61 with

8:46 left.

The Spartans pulled within two twice, and to three points for a

third time on Hill's 3-pointer from nearly 30 feet with 1:11 left.

"I'd give back all those 3-pointers for a win,'' Hill said.

Anderson made two free throws to cut Syracuse's lead to 76-75

with 37 seconds left, and the Spartans got the ball back after

Billy Edelin missed the front end of a 1-and-1.

Torbert missed a short shot along the baseline over 7-footer

Craig Forth, and after a scramble that included Ballinger's tip

toward the basket, Anderson missed an off-balance shot in the

middle of the lane and the ball bounced out of bounds as the horn


"It was just one of those plays you've got to finish,'' Torbert


Michigan State's Aloysius Anagonye had 13 points, seven rebounds

and four assists, while reserve Paul Davis added 10 points.

Hakim Warrick scored 17 points for the Orangemen, while Kueth

Duany and Edelin each added 10.

Warrick's three-point play put Syracuse ahead 31-28 with 9:27

left in the first half and the Orangeman led by as many as nine

before taking a 44-39 halftime lead.

In the first half, Hill was 5-of-7 from 3-point range and had 17

points. Anthony made all four of his 3-point attempts and scored 15


Hill finished 12-of-20 overall, and 10-of-18 on 3-pointers.

Anthony, who was making just 33.7 percent of his 3-pointers, made

all five of his 3-point attempts and was 8-of-15 overall.

"When he's shooting the ball well from the outside, he's not

guardable,'' Boeheim said. "I don't think anybody, or any two

guys, can guard him when he's shooting well from the outside.

"Tom (Izzo) told me before the game that (15 NBA scouts) were

here, so I guess he's pretty good.''