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Colgate no match in 92-47 loss to No. 5 Syracuse

By John Kekis
AP Sports Writer / November 19, 2011

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SYRACUSE, N.Y.—Matt Langel is in his first year as head coach at Colgate, and he's not accustomed to this kind of treatment.

Three days after losing by 27 on the road at No. 14 Wisconsin, the Raiders (1-2) were humbled 92-47 on Saturday by fifth-ranked Syracuse.

"That was a different experience," Langel said of his first-ever trip to the Carrier Dome. "It happens, but I'm not used to it. It's something you don't ever want to get used to, but I think it's beneficial for our guys to learn from this, to be a part of a game like this, see what it takes at this level."

It was a different sort of game, to be sure.

The Orange (4-0) are trying to come to grips with molestation allegations against assistant coach Bernie Fine, and the team figured to be distracted in the first game since the allegations surfaced on Thursday night.

It wasn't. Dion Waiters had 16 points to lead four Syracuse players in double figures.

"We didn't talk about what happened (to Fine) at all," said Colgate's Pat Moore, who led all players with 19 points, hitting 5 of 9 from beyond the arc. "We tried not to focus on that. We just wanted to come out and play as hard as we could. We had a tough game our last game. It's all about hustle.

"We just wanted to play our games," said Moore, who dove for the ball midway through the second half after missing a 3 with the Orange up 68-34. "We didn't really care about the score. We tried to outwork them."

Syracuse placed Fine on administrative leave "in light of the new allegations" that he molested two former ball boys for years and city police are investigating. Fine has dismissed the allegations as "patently false" and expressed confidence he will be vindicated.

Fine's usual seat by coach Jim Boeheim was left vacant. This is Fine's 36th season working for the head coach.

At the Carrier Dome, a subdued crowd came to watch hoops, not make protest signs or chant for the absent coach. While 21,084 fans dutifully dressed in orange, making the scene like any another Syracuse basketball game, troubling issues still loom large.

Both of Fine's accusers are now adults. Bobby Davis, now 39, told ESPN that Fine molested him beginning in 1984 and that the sexual contact continued until he was around 27. A ball boy for six years, Davis told ESPN that the abuse occurred at Fine's home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips, including the 1987 Final Four, when the Orange lost to Indiana in the national championship game.

Davis' stepbrother, Mike Lang, 45, who also was a ball boy, told ESPN that Fine molested him starting when he was in fifth or sixth grade.

Syracuse said it conducted its own four-month investigation in 2005 when the allegations first came to the school's attention, including interviews with people the accuser said would support his allegations, but all of them "denied any knowledge of wrongful conduct" by Fine.

Fine was listed as associate head coach in the game program and his photo and bio remained. Former Syracuse star Gerry McNamara filled in for him. He played on Syracuse's 2003 NCAA championship team and was a four-year starter for the Orange.

Fine missed Syracuse's 46th straight victory against Colgate, according to STATS LLC. The Raiders' last win over the Orange was a 67-63 triumph on Feb. 24, 1962, a few months before Boeheim enrolled as a student at Syracuse.

James Southerland had 14 points, C.J. Fair 13, and Scoop Jardine finished with 11 points, six assists and zero turnovers for the Orange.

Syracuse rolled to a 52-19 lead at the break, highlighted by Southerland's seven straight points in 17 seconds.

The allegations against Fine at Syracuse come on the heels of the child sex abuse allegations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, a scandal which cost longtime head coach Joe Paterno his job. While Sandusky's defenders have been scarce, if any, Fine has received an outpouring of support from the Syracuse basketball community.

Former Syracuse center Rony Seikaly was among a number of former Orange who staunchly defended Fine's character. In a telephone interview Thursday night with the AP, Boeheim backed Fine and said: "This kid came forward and there was no one to corroborate his story. Not one. Not one."