Miami Defeats Syracuse 62-57 in 2nd Round of ACC Tournament
By KJ Vaughn NEW YORK — The crowd in the Barclays Center was definitely favorable to the Orange. But similarly to when SU played South Carolina in November, the favorable crowd did not help decide the contest.
Four Miami (21-10, 10-8) players scored in double figures as it knocked off Syracuse (18-14, 10-8) 62-57 Wednesday in the second round of the ACC Tournament. With the loss, the Orange has still not picked up a win in conference tournament play since joining the ACC in 2013.
Miami was powered early by Davon Reed, who scored seven points and grabbed three boards in the first 12 minutes of play. DJ Vasiljevic would score five quick points to put Miami on top 24-19, with just under 7 minutes left to play in the first half. Andrew White would hit a free throw line jumper to make it 26-21 with just under six minutes left in the first half. The Orange would get as close as three points before the break, but a Hurricanes 7-2 run towards the end of the first half would put them up 36-28 at intermission.
White lead the Orange in the first half with 13 points. The Hurricanes were lead by Reed with 10 points. There was a stark contrast in three point shooting percentage in the first half, with SU only hitting 37% of their three point shots. Meanwhile, Miami knocked down 54% of their three pointers.
Tyus Battle would get the second half stared for the ‘Cuse with a three to make it 36-31, The Orange kept rallying and after a John Gillon three, SU was once again within four. Just before the halfway point of the half, Battle nailed a jumper behind the arc to give the Orange a 41-40 lead. That was the first lead for SU since the 16:30 mark in the first half.
Miami would respond with a run of its own. Led by Vasiljevic and Kamari Murphy, the Hurricanes went on an 8-0 run to create some separation. With the Orange hanging in the game, Murphy hit a baseline jumper to push Miami’s lead to 53-48 with less than five minutes remaining.
The Cuse looked for one last push getting it within one after a White jumpshot. After Miami took a five point lead, Battle tried to make a splash by attacking the basket. The freshman, though, would miss a dunk, which lead to a Miami layup on the other end to make it 57-52 with just over two minutes left to play.
Gillon would hit a big three to make it a two point game in the waning seconds the game. On the ensuing possession, Miami responded with a layup by Ja’Quan Newton to go up by four.
With SU down by three in the final seconds, Gillon would have a chance to hit a miracle shot again this season. But this time, his tying three point attempt was no good. Miami secured the victory.
The loss puts Syracuse squarely on the bubble. Orange head coach Jim Boeheim believes his team is worthy of an NCAA tournament spot. “We have three good wins,” Boeheim said. “Three teams in the top 10 when we beat them.”
Gillon finished with 8 points on the day and explained what went into his final shot attempt. “I was just trying to get the ball up as fast as I could [and] just knock down the shot,” Gillon said about his final shot.
The Orange must now sweat it out until Selection Sunday to see if they will make the NCAA Tournament.