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Syracuse Repeats as Island Champions, Wins Battle 4 Atlantis

Syracuse is really good at playing in high school gyms on remote islands.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

After coming off a one year hiatus from playing in a preseason island tournament, Syracuse did as Syracuse does and won the Battle 4 Atlantis tourney. For the third day in a row Syracuse was able to pull off a victory in the Bahamas. After last night's emotional win over long time rival UConn, Syracuse had a quick turnaround to compete against a ranked Texas A&M squad.

The first half wasn't pretty. Just when Syracuse appeared to be dead in the water and in desperate need of halftime, Michael Gbinije knocked down a three to cut Texas A&M's seven point lead to four. Trevor Cooney forced a turnover on the next play with two seconds left in the half and Gbinije stole the inbound pass, drawing a foul with .3 seconds left while forcing a desperation three from half court. Gbinije knocked down two of three, reducing the Aggies lead to two at halftime.

Syracuse was able to weather the scoring drought through it's first 7:37 of the first half as Malachi Richardson was the only Orange to score during that stretch. Big triples from Gbinije and Lydon down the stretch helped the Orange while a Cooney 5-0 run proved to be the icing on the cake as the Aggies never got back within seven.

Syracuse was out-rebounded by seven but 11 made threes were able to compensate for that. Once again, Gbinije was the high point man with 20. Richardson added 16 of his own while Cooney finished with 15 points, five assists and three steals. Syracuse handled the Aggies with a final score of 74-67.

Syracuse returns home to host Wisconsin on Wednesday as part of the ACC/Big 10 Challenge.