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Syracuse falters down the stretch to fall 82-78 to Miami

A career night from Jesse Edwards wasn’t enough

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Miami (FL) Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange had their toughest road test since November when they headed to take on the #17 Miami Hurricanes tonight. Syracuse was in control in the second half but faltered late to fall 82-78.

To no one’s surprise Syracuse started slow but it was mostly problems on offense. Turnovers, bad shots, missed lay-ups let Miami get out to an early 11-2 lead at the first media timeout. Maliq Brown and Mounir Hima came off the bench and got inside for two baskets at the rim while stopping Miami’s offensive rhythm with more activity.

Jim Boeheim went nine deep in the first ten minutes of the game as he searched for a group that would find success. We even saw one possession of the full-court press. Miami started missing shots and the Orange got out to run and after an and-one from Mintz and a transition 3 from Taylor they grabbed their first lead 26-24. Joe Girard added his own three-point play off a post-up and the Orange were rolling while it was Miami’s turn to take bad shots.

Another Girard post and one followed by a sweet pick and roll finish by Edwards gave Syracuse a 38-34 lead at the break. All 9 Syracuse players scored in the half led by Girard and Edwards with 8 each. The Orange had 9 offensive rebounds and only 4 turnovers in the first half.

Syracuse roared out of the gate with a lob to Edwards and another Williams 3 to push their lead to 7. Girard’s old-man offense extended the gap to 10 and Miami didn’t have an answer. It was 53-44 at the first media timeout and Syracuse’s defense was active with Mintz especially effective in pushing the ball away from the lane.

Miami ramped up the defensive intensity and Syracuse reverted to rushed shots and turnovers and thankfully the Hurricanes decided to return the favor. Jesse Edwards was the only player who could find the basket as the game turned ugly.

Isaiah Wong picked up his 4th foul with 7 minutes to play and Benny Williams made a huge play getting an offensive board against multiple defenders and hitting a baseline jumper which made it 66-63. Pack hit another logo 3 and Miami got a lay-up to get the lead back at 71-70.

Justin Taylor drilled a 3 but Jordan Miller grabbed another offensive board and got the bucket and foul to get Miami back up 1. Mintz forced a shot and committed another turnover as Miami pushed it to 78-73. Girard finally got a 3 to fall and it was 78-76 with 1:23 to play.

Syracuse survived on defense but Mintz forced up a shot that got blocked. Omier hit both free throws and it was 80-76. Girard got a lay-up with 4 seconds to play but Harlond Beverly hit both free throws to close it out.

Jesse Edwards had a career high of 25 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Girard had 21 points and 5 assists. Beverly and Omier led Miami with16 each.

The Orange (12-7, 5-3) are back home to play Georgia Tech next Saturday.