The Syracuse Orange (18-9, 7-7) defeated the Miami Hurricanes (18-8, 7-7) 62-55 Saturday afternoon in south Florida after suffering a tough loss to NC State in their previous game.
Much of the first half was controlled by the Orange, led by Tyus Battle, who finished with nine points and seven rebounds after the first 20 minutes. Miami would come storming back to close the half, however, going on a 7-0 run with 2:06 to play, and giving them their first lead since the opening minutes. The game went into halftime tied at 25.
Both teams struggled shooting the ball to begin the game. Syracuse ended the first half going just 36.7 percent from the field and going 2-for-10 from three. Miami made only 32 percent of its shots, and went 3-for-15 from downtown.
The Orange came out strong to begin the second frame, going on a 13-0 run in the opening minutes and giving them their first double-digit lead of the game.
A 15-3 run quickly erased Syracuse’s large lead, and the game was tied at 43 with 9:16 left. The Orange then went on a 9-2 run of their own, which would be enough to hold off a tough Miami team for the victory.
Syracuse greatly improved their shooting in the second half, going 14-for-22 from the field, while Miami continued to struggle at just 35.3 percent.
Battle finished the game with 13 points, but the Orange were led in scoring by junior guard Frank Howard, who notched 18 points, 12 of which came in the second half. With 16 points and 12 rebounds, freshman forward Oshae Brissett recorded his 10th double-double of the season.
Miami was led in scoring by Chris Lykes, who finished with 14 points and four assists. Only one other Hurricane player finished in double figures as part of a tough shooting day for Miami.
Syracuse kept their NCAA tournament hopes alive with the win, but they will have to quickly turn their attention to a formidable North Carolina team coming to the Carrier Dome Wednesday, February 21 at 7:00 p.m. After that, the Orange’s schedule doesn’t get much easier, as they will have to travel to Durham to face Duke the following Saturday.