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Syracuse vs. UConn: Orange Win a Classic, 79-76

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Syracuse played its most entertaining game of the early season in a classic against UConn. The Orange outlasted the Huskies 79-76.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse and UConn met in the Big East Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals in what looked like a classic Big East brawl. UConn got out to a big lead to start that Syracuse would ultimately eclipse late in the first half.

Syracuse got its first lead of the game with 1:30 remaining in the first half on a Tyler Roberson pass to Michael Gbinije at the top of the key. Gbinije knocked down an open triple to put Syracuse up 32-31. Syracuse and UConn went into halftime knotted at 34 all.

The Syracuse defense was effective at keeping UConn out of the paint -- the Huskies often passed the ball around the perimeter, taking tough, contested shots. When UConn did attack the zone they were able to get shots at the rim and took advantage of some quick whistles.

In the second half both teams traded blows in a back and forth affair. This game was called especially tight, with most fouls occurring around the rim. Both Coleman and Roberson picked up four fouls a piece.

Tyler Lydon continues to play well in Atlantis -- he had the play of the game with 1:20 left to go. He was able to block a Rodney Purvis floater and tipped the ball to Trevor Cooney who would knock down two free throws on the ensuing possession to give the Orange a 78-71 lead. Lydon finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Gbinije also had a big game with 17 points, seven assists and six steals. His backcourt mate chipped in 17 of his own by going 7-8 from the free throw line. Syracuse also won the rebounding battle 40-33.

Syracuse will now meet Texas A&M tomorrow as the Aggies took down a very talented Gonzaga team earlier today. The championship game tips off at 3 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN. Get your popcorn ready and be sure to add some extra salt.