It was a game of runs as the Syracuse Orange’s failed to come away with a much needed top 25 win as they fell to the No. 23 ranked Florida State Seminoles in double overtime, 101-90. It was a career game for Tyus Battle (37 points), but the Orange will leave Tallahassee with their fourth straight loss.
The first half started out as ugly as it could get with the first media timeout showing a score of 3-2 in Syracuse’s favor. That was the trend for both teams in the first half as both sides failed to find their offensive rhythm for the first 20 minutes of play.
The trio of Frank Howard, Tyus Battle, and Oshae Brissett combined for 12 points on 5-23 shooting to lead to their 31-21 deficit heading into the half. The one bright spot of the first half was the quality play from Howard Washington off the bench. The freshman point guard provided some stability to go along with his five first half points. Despite Washington’s positive play, the Orange let up 12 points in the final 2:09 of the half as the Seminoles started to break down the zone.
The shot selection wasn’t at its best as the Orange forced up some tough shots when the offense wasn’t coming to them. They started to get some better looks with Washington’s fast pace of play, but they struggled to score as usual in the half court.
Despite all the first half negatives, the Orange turned into the second half team they have shown they can be. The 10-point half time deficit was erased quickly as Battle led the Orange on the comeback. After missing two straight free throws, Battle went on a scoring barrage as he put up 12 points in a little over four minutes to help Syracuse take the lead.
The Orange picked up the pace in the second half which led to some fast break points, and open threes for Battle.
The Orange jumped to a 45-38 lead, but as previously mentioned, this was a game of runs, and the Seminoles weren’t going to go away quietly. A few turnovers from the Orange gave the Seminoles some easy offensive opportunities, and their hot three-point shooting allowed them to regain the 57-55 lead.
The Seminoles went up 74-71 with 16 seconds left in the game, but Battle drained a deep three to send the game to overtime.
The first overtime session opened up with four straight free throws for the Orange to give them a four point lead, but as always, Florida State found a way to tie it. Battle answered the tie with a nifty drive through the lane to give the Orange the 80-78 lead.
With the game tied at 82 and the game clock dwindling down, Battle found Brissett open in the corner but his three pointer couldn’t fall and the game went to double overtime—if only that shot had fallen.
With three Syracuse starters fouling out, the Orange couldn’t match the Seminoles’ “fresh” legs in double overtime. Battle’s valiant effort wasn’t enough as the Seminoles got out in transition and finished the deal. The lack of depth on this year’s team truly showed.
The Orange now drop to 1-4 in ACC play and 12-6 overall, as they head back to the Carrier Dome to face the Pittsburgh Panthers on Tuesday. It will be tough, but the Orange will need to forget about their missed opportunities in this one if they want to get this slump turned around.