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Syracuse Stays Afloat With 76-67 Win Over Florida State

Credit Scott Schild/

Syracuse men’s basketball (15-10, 8-6 ACC) doesn’t yet know if its season will end in the ACC Tournament, but it remains in play for a potential postseason following a must-have 76-67 victory over Florida State (8-17, 6-8 ACC).

Following a theme present throughout the year, the Orange made life more difficult for themselves with an ugly first half start. In front of a mostly-vacant crowd of 5,600-plus, SU got off to a 7-0 run to start the game but quickly fell cold from the field. Senior center Jesse Edwards missed three of his first four shots and set the tone for a brutal first 20 minutes for the ‘Cuse offense. Syracuse shot just 11-of-30 from the field in the first half and saw Florida State win the rebound battle 22-14.

In the meantime, FSU center Naheem McLeod put on a clinic in the first 20 minutes. The Seminole big man set a career-high in the first half alone with 14 points and consistently exposed the SU defense down low. However, McLeod’s play stood alone among a Florida State squad that struggled to hit its shots. The ‘Noles hit just 14-of-33 tries in the first half and entered the break with a 35-29 lead.

In the second half, Syracuse adjusted and flipped the script on the woebegone Seminoles. McLeod scored just two points in the final 20 minutes and watched his teammates knock down just 4-of-17 three-pointers in the second half. On the other end, Syracuse’s scorers went to work. Senior guard Joe Girard exploded for 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting for his third-highest scoring output of the season. Center Jesse Edwards (18 points, 12 rebounds), freshman guard Judah Mintz (16 points, six assists), and freshman forward Chris Bell (10 points, career-high six rebounds) all finished in double-figures against FSU’s second-worst ACC scoring defense. In the second half, Syracuse outscored Florida State 47-32 and led for the final nine minutes.

Syracuse now returns home for a Dome matchup with NC State on February 14th. SU has six regular season games remaining. Opening tip between the Orange and Wolfpack is at 7 PM.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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