Syracuse Falls Flat in 78-65 ACC Tournament Quarterfinal Loss to Florida State

Phto Athletics
Saturday, Mar 09, 2024 at 11:38 am by Sports Editor

By Andrew Della Piana | @dellie_5


GREENSBORO, N.C. – ​​In mid-January, the Orange rallied from an 18-point deficit to defeat the Seminoles inside the Dome. However, No. 6 seed Florida State (23-9, 12-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) dominated from start to finish this time around in a 78-65 victory over No. 3 seed Syracuse (23-7, 13-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. 


The Orange are still searching for their first conference tournament victory since 2021.


Florida State set the tone early, going out to a 5-0 lead on a three-point play by All-ACC First Team member Ta’Niya Latson. The Seminoles led by as many as ten points in the first quarter, but the Orange responded with a 10-2 run to narrow the deficit to 16-14, thanks to a pair of triples from Dyaisha Fair, another All-ACC First Teamer. O’Mariah Gordon concluded the first with some momentum for FSU, nailing a floater to beat the buzzer and give the Seminoles a 23-18 lead heading into the second quarter. The junior notched 14 points in the first.

With the second quarter just underway, Latson was given her third foul. The Orange were unable to take advantage even with the top scorer for the Seminoles off the court. Halfway through the third quarter, forward Sara Bejedi drilled a three-pointer to cap a 12-0 run that gave FSU a 15-point advantage. After notching the opening basket of the quarter, SU spent four minutes without scoring. Syracuse trailed 39-27 at the half.

The Seminoles kept their foot on the throttle, clearly having learnt their lesson from the last encounter.  Freshman Sophie Burrows attempted a cross-court pass early in the third quarter, but Latson interrupted her path and stole the ball, allowing Florida State to lead 48–31 after a coast–to–coast layup. The sophomore recorded 13 of her 25 points in the frame. FSU had a 25-point advantage at one point in the quarter, SU’s biggest deficit since losing to North Carolina on January 4. 

One positive thing to take away from Felisha Legette-Jack’s team is that they never gave up and ended the game with an 11-0 run to make the score more respectable. Even still, Florida State dominated all areas in a 78–65 victory to advance to the ACC Tournament semifinals.

Orange center Izabel Varejão was unable to travel to Greensboro due to illness. Her absence had a significant impact on defense, as Florida State scored 44 points in the paint compared to Syracuse’s 28.

Syracuse will learn its next opponent on March 17th when the NCAA Tournament field is announced on Selection Sunday. | @dellie_5