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Nichols carries No. 14 Syracuse past Charlotte

Nov 23, 2006 - 2:30 AM SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Demetris Nichols made sure there would not be a repeat performance at the Carrier Dome for Charlotte.

Nichols scored 21 points and eight rebounds and Paul Harris added 17 points as 14th-ranked Syracuse posted a 79-67 triumph over the 49ers in a non-conference matchup.

The last time these two programs faced off on November 26, 2003, the Orange (5-0) absorbed a stunning 96-92 defeat in their home opener following the 2002-03 national championship season. The contest featured a Carrier Dome-record 10 3-pointers by former 49ers guard Brandon Plavich.

A 6-8 senior, Nichols made 7-of-15 shots, including an impressive 5-of-8 from the arc. He also added three blocks before fouling out late.

"Demetris lit it up," Harris said. "In practice, he's an NBA prospect. "I tell him all the time, he has to take over. I guess he listened (Wednesday)."

"He played like the leader he is," said Syracuse senior Terrence Roberts, who had five points and five rebounds.

Holding onto a slim 31-30 advantage through the first 20 minutes, the Orange wasted little time taking control after intermission. They opened with a 15-6 surge led by Nichols, who drained three 3-pointers in the run that ended with a 46-36 lead with 16:47 left.

"My teammates found me," Nichols said. "I had to do something."

Josh Wright made a pair of free throws, then knocked down a shot from the arc with five minutes remaining to help Syracuse create some more distance at 67-49.

"This game shows that we have character and work through our mistakes," Wright said.

However, Syracuse surrendered 24 points off 17 turnover, which made coach Jim Boeheim very unhappy.

"I'm very disappointed in the way we're taking care of the ball," Boeheim said. "We're just not tough minded. We had way too many turnovers. We can't make these many turnovers and be a good team. We were very lucky that Charlotte couldn't capitalize on a lot of our turnovers."

Wright scored 14 points for the Orange, who shot 46 percent (22-of-48) and made 11-of-22 from the arc.

Leemire Goldwire had 14 points and eight rebounds and De'Angelo Alexander chipped in 13 for Charlotte (1-2), which shot 32 percent (22-of-68).

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