Nichols, Orange advance in front of record crowdMar 20, 2007 - 3:30 AM SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Demetris Nichols made sure to finish up his career at the Carrier Dome with a bang.
Nichols scored 20 points and Andy Rautins added 15 as second-seeded Syracuse advanced to the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament with an 80-64 victory over No. 6 San Diego State.
With their eighth win in the past 10 games, the Orange (24-10) advanced to face top-seeded Clemson in the quarters of the South Region on Wednesday.
Just eight days after Syracuse was passed over by the NCAA Selection Committee despite a 10-6 record in the Big East Conference, an NIT-record crowd of 26,752 came out to see off Nichols - one of three senior starters.
The 6-8 forward shot 7-of-18 from the field with three 3-pointers, hitting one of his baskets from the arc during a decisive 19-3 run that gave the Orange a 59-40 advantage with 13:42 remaining.
Rautins had two of his five 3-pointers and Eric Devendorf had six of his eight points during the burst.
Devendorf also handed out seven assists and freshman Paul Harris added 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench for Syracuse, which reached the NIT semifinals in 2002.
Lorrenzo Wade scored 16 points and Brandon Heath added 15 and seven assists for the Aztecs (22-11), who were outrebounded, 50-33, and outscored in the paint, 38-24.
- NIT SOUTH REGION
NCAA BB NIT SOUTH REGION
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
SAN DIEGO ST 33 31 64
SYRACUSE 38 42 80 FINAL
Mar 19 8:57 PM
- NIT SOUTH REGION
NCAA BB (6) SAN DIEGO ST 33
(2) SYRACUSE 38 HALFTIME
Mar 19 7:49 PM
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