Dayton eliminates Syracuse in NCAA Tournament (Web Extra Video)

By Travis Eldridge
By Mike Peal

March 22, 2014 Updated Mar 23, 2014 at 8:30 AM EST

Buffalo, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A season that began with promise ended in defeat, as the Syracuse Orange were upset by the Dayton Flyers, 55-53, in the third round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday night in Buffalo, NY.

Syracuse freshman guard Tyler Ennis scored a team-high 19 points, but missed two crucial shots in the final moments -- including a last-second three-pointer that would given the Orange the lead.

With about 13 seconds left, down one point and Ennis with the ball, the freshman decided to pull up for a jumper instead of driving. I decision even coach Jim Boeheim questioned afterwards.

Ennis talks after season-ending loss

"You've got to keep driving at that stage, and with 13 seconds to go, we wanted to get it to Tyler and drive the ball," said Boeheim. "We had just driven the ball for three baskets and I don't know why he settled for the jump shot. There was plenty of time, he had space, I'm not sure why."

"It's a shot I make, and it's a shot I take," Ennis explained in the locker room.

It's a season that began with a school-best 25-0 start, but the team finished by dropping six of its last nine games. That fact made this early exit in the NCAA Tournament even worse.

Trevor Cooney full interview after Dayton loss

"It's very disappointing," said Jerami Grant. "Like I said, this is the most important part of the season, so to come out and have a game like this, especially for me to have one of my worst games of the season is definitely tough."

"The ball just didn't go in the hoop for me, and it didn't for a lot of the people on the team," said sophomore Trevor Cooney, who scored just two points on Saturday. "When that happens you need to make it up on defense, and we did play good defense, we didn't play good enough I guess."

Syracuse shot less than 39 percent from the field against the Flyers, including going 0-10 from three-point land. That's one of the main reasons the Orange finishes the season 28-6.

The 11-seed in the East Region, Dayton, will advance to play in the Sweet 16 in Memphis, TN.