Syracuse’s comeback comes up short in game of runs, lose to No. 22 Florida State 80-62

first_img Published on February 5, 2019 at 10:04 pm Contact Billy: [email protected] | @Wheyen3 With Syracuse’s walk-ons on the floor when Wednesday’s final buzzer sounded, Tyus Battle sat on the Syracuse bench for a few extra seconds. It had been mostly on him to try and make it back from a huge deficit, and he looked exhausted. He squirted a drink in his mouth, went to shake hands and was the last Syracuse player to head to the locker room — chin down, having done plenty, yet not enough.“I thought (Battle) and Elijah (Hughes) and Oshae (Brissett) did everything they could,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said.In a game of runs, No. 22 Florida State (17-5, 5-4 Atlantic Coast) broke out first before Syracuse (16-7, 7-3) responded. But in the end, FSU had one more run than the Orange and won, 80-62. It would’ve been the largest deficit the Orange came back from this season to win, but the comeback came up short. From down 22 to within one, SU couldn’t get over the final hump to complete the rally.“I thought the most amazing thing is they’re really good,” Boeheim said, “and we made an unbelievable effort to get back in it.”More Coverage:AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSuperlatives from Syracuse’s 80-62 loss to No. 22 Florida State Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse took the early lead, 7-6. But then Florida State, which entered as a 33 percent shooting team beyond the arc, caught fire. The Seminoles hit six of their first eight 3-point attempts. The wings, the corners, from the top of the arc, it didn’t matter. Kicks to the post or drives created open looks, and FSU didn’t leave them on the table. A 27-5 run for FSU later, the Orange trailed 33-12.A few plays later, Terance Mann finished an and-1 through Paschal Chukwu, Jim Boeheim asked Chukwu why he didn’t move his feet and the Seminoles led 36-14.“If you don’t play defense, you’re not scoring on the other end, that’s what happens,” Battle said.From there, though, the Orange answered with a run of their own. Battle went all the way off a transition opportunity to finish lefty, then swished a righty floater. Brissett drove inside for an and-1. Buddy Boeheim hit two jumpers. Battle kept going, eventually hitting a 3 from the top and two free throws to close the half.The Carrier Dome crowd got back into the game, and less than eight minutes after trailing by 22, the Orange trailed by eight.“I knew once we were down by 20 we were gonna get back in the game at some point,” Battle said.Talia Trackim | Digital Design EditorSyracuse recovered from down 10 in South Bend to beat Notre Dame. At then-No. 1 Duke, the Orange trailed by 12 within minutes of tip-off before emerging on top in overtime. At home against Georgetown, the difference was as high as 15 early in the second half. Each time, SU answered with a big enough run to get ahead, and from there held off the opposition. But 22 points would be another level of comeback.Brissett opened the second-half scoring with a jumper, and the Orange kept chipping away. Battle stole a perimeter pass and flew in for two. Buddy hit a one-legged runner off glass, too. The deficit was six at the under-16 timeout.When Battle drove out of the first media break and found Brissett, the sophomore could’ve went up for a tricky shot inside. But instead he kicked crosscourt to Hughes, who knocked it down, and the difference was three.Brissett followed it up with a putback to get within one. From 22 down to one — a comeback that could’ve defined a season.From there, it was back and forth, with the Orange getting it back to a one-possession game again and again. Full-court pressure had brought SU back into the game, but the length of time Syracuse had to press wore on the Orange. Each one-possession margin would return to two, and FSU started to break the tight defense.“(The press) did get us in the game, but I don’t think we had enough gas left to finish,” Boeheim said.Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerThe Seminoles finally found the edge with one final spurt, as Syracuse ran out of juice. Hughes gave the ball away to Mann, who pushed the floor for a two-handed slam. A putback and then 3 followed from Mfiondu Kabengele to stretch the gap to 10 again. Soon, he swished another 3, unleashed a loud scream and flexed both arms.Syracuse had used all of its timeouts, so it couldn’t slow FSU. The home crowd, raucous a few minutes before, didn’t have the same life. And the Orange, which had fought almost all the way back, felt their energy drain.“We see them score, we don’t score, and they score again,” Hughes said. “That’s just hard to stay locked in and stay focused and keep getting stops. It became hard.”The Orange wouldn’t be within single digits again. Syracuse didn’t have another run.“Basketball’s a game of runs,” Battle said. “That’s exactly what this game was tonight. They made some runs, we made some runs, and they ended up making the last run at the end.” Commentslast_img

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