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PRESSING ORANGEMEN CAN'T COME ALL THE WAY BACK

Syracuse's full-court press took a bigger toll on the Orangemen.

Calvin Bowman scored 20 points and West Virginia survived a second-half scare for an 87-76 victory over No. 10 Syracuse on Saturday.

Josh Yeager scored eight of his 15 points in the final three minutes to help West Virginia (15-8 overall, 6-6 in the Big East Conference) ward off a comeback by Syracuse, which nearly overcame a 15-point deficit but wore down from its own relentless pursuit.

"We got tired. You can only press for so long," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. "We were doing really well, but it takes too much to do that for that long."

February hasn't been kind to the Orangemen (19-6, 7-5), who are 2-3 and have failed to shoot 50 percent from the floor in any of those games. Syracuse shot 36.5 percent Saturday, including 5 of 30 three-pointers.

Syracuse now must wait to get Boeheim his 23rd 20-win season and fourth in a row.

"You're going to have months like this in the Big East. Every season there is a stretch when a team faces controversy," Boeheim said. "We just have to forget about this and move on.

"We have 19 wins and are in good position. I'm not sure a lot of people expected us to be here."

Few people probably expected the Mountaineers to keep up with Syracuse, but West Virginia controlled the inside game throughout and never trailed in the second half.

They outrebounded the Orangemen, 54-31, with Chris Moss getting 14 and Bowman 12.

"Me and Chris both wanted the ball," Bowman said. "We tried to mix it up and use our quickness to get the ball. It doesn't matter, the height when you're rebounding. It matters how bad you want the ball."

Bowman's rebound basket started a 7-0 run that gave West Virginia its biggest lead, 49-34, with 13:33 remaining.

Then, panic set in. The Mountaineers began taking low-percentage shots and committed a wave of turnovers and fouls as Syracuse tightened its defense.

"I was not pleased with the way we handled that," said West Virginia coach Gale Catlett. "The wrong guy took the ball out of bounds three to four times. We threw it in to the wrong people three or four times. But it was all in an effort to win the game."

Syracuse's DeShaun Williams finished with 21 points. Damone Brown scored 18 despite being in foul trouble most of the game. Allen Griffin added 13 points. Leading scorer Preston Shumpert was held to nine points on 3-of-12 shooting.

"They got one or two of our key players out of the game and that knocked us out of our rhythm," Williams said. "Damone really couldn't get involved until the end. That's how it goes sometimes."

Sullivan fuels Cyclones

AMES, Iowa -- Freshmen Jake Sullivan and Shane Power helped Iowa State shoot down Kansas again, and Jayhawks center Eric Chenowith can't understand how they did it.

Sullivan made six three-pointers in scoring a season-high 22 points, Power added a season-best 18 with four treys and Jamaal Tinsley created havoc with his quick hands as No. 7 Iowa State beat No. 6 Kansas, 79-71, in the Big 12.

"I thought Sullivan and Power surprised us," Chenowith said. "If I was a coach, I'd love to have players like that. To be honest with you, they really don't have any business playing Division I basketball, and they're out there doing unbelievable things, hitting huge shots and playing tough defense."

Sullivan made six straight three-pointers during one stretch and finished 6 for 8 behind the arc while going 8 for 11 overall. Power was 5 for 6 and made all four of his threes.

That's 10 for 12 from long range between the two of them.

"That's unreal," Iowa State's Paul Shirley said. "You can't give them enough credit. It was really impressive the way they were hitting open shots and making plays in such a huge game."

It was huge because Iowa State (22-3, 10-2) won a ninth straight conference game for the first time in school history and remained alone in first place, two games ahead of Kansas with four to play.

Kansas (19-5, 8-4) played without injured starter Drew Gooden and key reserve Luke Axtell and lost for the fourth time in six games. The Jayhawks shot 57.7 percent but couldn't overcome 22 turnovers.

"I said this week I think they are one of the top five teams in the country," Kansas coach Roy Williams said. "If they take care of their business, everybody else is playing for second. For us to play for second, that's hard for us to say because we never talk about second."

Terps turn it around

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Happy or relieved?

Juan Dixon wasn't sure how to answer as No. 17 Maryland (16-9, 7-6) ended its recent slide with a 73-57 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over No. 23 Wake Forest (17-8, 6-7).

"We haven't had this feeling in the locker room in a long time," said Dixon, who had 17 points and four steals in Maryland's most convincing victory since mid-January. "We just wanted to go out there and have fun like we did last year. We had to be hungry."

Lonny Baxter scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Terrapins outscored Wake Forest, 40-20, inside.

"They lived inside of 3 feet all day long, and combine that with the fact that we lived at 30 feet, that's a bad combination," Wake Forest coach Dave Odom said.

Baxter was 9 for 15 from the field while Wake Forest shot a season-low 31.5 percent.

Maryland had lost three straight and five of six, but avoided its worst losing streak since 1994, improving to 2-6 against ranked teams. Both of those wins have come over the Demon Deacons.

Dixon said the last two weeks have been rough on the team.

"We had our own fans booing us at home," Dixon said. "That's not a good thing. They can boo us all they want now, but we're going to win for the people inside this locker room, our little family."

Wildcats tear apart Trojans

LOS ANGELES -- Arizona coach Lute Olson was very pleased, with good reason.

The eighth-ranked Wildcats, shooting extremely well and playing tough defense, beat Southern California, 105-61.

Gilbert Arenas led the way by scoring 27 points and missing just one shot.

The Wildcats (18-7, 10-3) handed the Trojans (17-7, 7-5) their worst home loss ever and one of the most lopsided defeats in their history.

"We looked great out there. It goes to show you what happens when you shoot the ball well," Olson said after the Wildcats shot 54 percent from the floor and went 14 of 19 from three-point range.

"We were patient and waited for the shot. When we do that, we play well. It was a case of we couldn't miss a shot and they couldn't buy a shot."

The Trojans were just 6 of 34 from the floor in the first half and finished the game at 30 percent.

USC coach Henry Bibby wanted to hide.

"There was no place I could go. I wish I could have climbed under the table," he said. "We'll just take the loss and be happy it wasn't by 60. We weren't ready to play, and they made their shots."

Tayshawn a prince for 'Cats

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tayshaun Prince was there when Kentucky needed him most.

Prince scored 27 points, including 16 of the Wildcats' final 29, as No. 22 Kentucky beat Vanderbilt, 79-74, for its seventh consecutive Southeastern Conference victory.

The Wildcats (17-7, 10-2) have won seven consecutive SEC games and 17 straight over Vanderbilt (15-10, 4-8).

"I know the guys were looking to get me the basketball," said Prince, who also led Kentucky with nine rebounds and five assists.

Prince was at his best when he needed to be, making 11 of 12 free throws. He also hit his own only two three-point shots in the final 5:26, both times with the Wildcats trailing. "The shots weren't falling (from the outside), but I had the confidence to keep taking them," said Prince.

Around the nation

Casey Jacobsen scored 18 points and Jason Collins had 13 points and eight rebounds as No. 2 Stanford (23-1, 11-1) took an 88-56 win over California (17-7, 8-4) in the 234th meeting between the Pac-10 archrivals. The Cardinal has won nine straight in the series.

Brian Cook scored 16 points and Frank Williams added 14 as No. 4 Illinois (16-10, 7-5) took a 67-61 win over Indiana (16-10, 7-5) in the Big Ten. Illinois won its fifth straight -- the longest winning streak in the conference this season -- and defeated the Hoosiers for the fourth straight time.

Troy Bell scored 26 points, nine in the last six minutes, as No. 9 Boston College (19-3, 10-2) claimed an 81-73 win over Providence (18-7, 9-4) in the Big East. Ryan Sidney had seven of his 17 points in the final minute for BC. John Linehan scored 22 points for Providence.

Roger Mason's three-point basket with one second left lifted No. 12 Virginia (18-6, 7-6) to a 69-66 victory at Florida State (7-18, 2-10) in the ACC.

J.R. Raymond made a career-high seven three-pointers and scored 24 points, and No. 13 Oklahoma (20-5, 9-4) scored an 82-60 triumph over Baylor (16-7, 5-7) in the Big 12.

Kevin Braswell scored 20 points as No. 14 Georgetown (20-5, 7-5) scored a 76-73 Big East win over Rutgers (10-13, 2-10). Todd Billet had 20 for the Knights.

Rahim Lockhart scored all eight of his points in the second half, including a basket with 2:09 left that put the Rebels ahead for good, as No. 16 Mississippi (21-4, 9-3) won its sixth straight with a 67-61 SEC victory over South Carolina (13-10, 5-7). Justin Reed's 18 points led the Rebels.

Brandon Wolfram scored 20 points to help Texas-El Paso (18-6, 7-5) score an 80-61 win over No. 20 Fresno State (20-5, 9-3) in the Western Athletic Conference. Chris Jefferies scored 19 points for the Bulldogs, who can say goodbye to the national rankings. They've lost three straight.

Erwin Dudley scored 17 points and No. 21 Alabama (20-5) shot 10 of 18 from three-point range in an 85-67 victory over Ohio State (17-9).

Billy Knight scored a career-high 23 points as No. 24 UCLA (17-6, 10-2) escaped with a 73-68 Pac-10 victory over Arizona State (11-13, 3-10). Awvee Storey led the Sun Devils with 26 points.

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