Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) – Exactly one week after Penn State’s football team played a game with controversy swirling around the program, the Syracuse men’s basketball team took the floor Saturday facing a similar situation.
The fifth-ranked Orange put the drama behind them and rolled to a 92-47 victory over the Colgate Raiders.
Long-time Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine was accused this week of molesting two former ball boys. Fine, who is in his 35th season at the university, was placed on administrative leave Thursday night. Syracuse police are in the early stages of an investigation of Fine.
Fine has vehemently denied the allegations. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim came to his long-time assistant’s defense Thursday with the following statement.
“This matter was fully investigated by the University in 2005 and it was determined that the allegations were unfounded. I have known Bernie Fine for more than 40 years. I have never seen or witnessed anything to suggest that he would be involved in any of the activities alleged. Had I seen or suspected anything, I would have taken action. Bernie has my full support.”
Fine’s usual seat was left vacant on Saturday. Boeheim was asked after the game what it was like without having Fine there.
“I’m not going to talk about that,” Boeheim said. “We’ve made all the statements we’re going to make. We’re going to focus on basketball like we did today. Everything will be determined outside our team.”
Dion Waiters had 16 points off the bench for the Orange (4-0), who shot 49.2 percent from the floor. James Southerland and C.J. Fair added 14 and 13 points, respectively, in a reserve role.
Pat Moore ended with 19 points for the Raiders (1-2), who have lost 45 straight games against Syracuse.
Holding a 12-10 lead five minutes into the game, Waiters scored seven straight points to spark a 40-19 Syracuse run. Southerland tallied 11 points during the huge burst to help the Orange take a 52-19 lead at the half.
Syracuse went on an 11-0 run during the middle stages of the second half to build a 77-34 lead.
For good measure, the Orange ended the game on a 12-2 burst.