SYRACUSE (WBNG BINGHAMTON) Syracuse ended the game on a 14-4 run as the Orange rallied to defeat Miami 49-44 in the school's first game as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference on Saturday, Jan. 4.
Syracuse (14-0, 1-0 ACC) trailed 40-35 with 6:11 remaining when the comeback began. SU scored the next eight points to go ahead 43-40 with just 3:20 left. After a layup by James Kelly cut Miami's (8-6, 0-2 ACC) deficit to one, freshman Tyler Ennis made a layup then he and redshirt sophomore Trevor Cooney sealed the victory with two free throws each in the final minute.
It was the first time the Orange won a game in which it failed to score 50 points since beating Pittsburgh 49-46 in overtime on Feb. 29, 2004. The last time Syracuse didn't reach 50 points in a regulation victory was against Kent State on Dec. 1, 1962, 36-35.
Senior C.J. Fair posted a game-high 15 points to go along with six rebounds. Ennis chipped in with 10 points and added seven assists and three steals. Junior Rakeem Christmas grabbed a game-best seven rebounds and scored eight points.
The teams traded the lead six times in the opening six minutes until a 10-2 run put the Orange ahead 17-11 with 11:32 left in the half. Fair tallied SU's last six points during the stretch. After consecutive Hurricane layups, a Fair basket and Cooney three gave Syracuse its largest lead of the game at 22-15 with just over five minutes remaining.
Miami closed the gap to 22-21 following back-to-back three's by Garrius Adams and Manu Lecomte. However, sophomore Jerami Grant recorded the final three points – including a two-handed slam – to push SU's lead to 25-21 at halftime.
Kelly scored the first four points of the second to help the Hurricanes start the half with 14 of 18 points and take a 35-29 lead with 12:23 left in the game. It was the team's first lead since the 15:04 mark of the opening half.
Fair ended the drought with a baseline three followed by a free throw by Cooney to get the Orange within 36-35. Miami was able to push its lead to 40-35 before Syracuse's ultimately won the game with its final run.
The Orange was outshot for just the fourth time all season, improving to 4-0 in those instances. The Hurricanes finished at 42.5-percent (17-40) while SU was at 36.2-percent (17-47). Syracuse held a nine-point advantage from the free throw line making 12-of-14 to just 3-of-4 for the visitors.
Syracuse forced 15 Miami turnovers which translated into a 13-5 edge in points off turnovers. SU was also active on the offensive glass, pulling down five more rebounds to outscore the Hurricanes in second chance points 12-5.
No Miami player reached double-figures as Adams notched team bests of nine points, five rebounds and four assists. Rion Brown contributed seven points, four rebounds and four assists in the loss.
Up next for the Orange is a trip to Virginia Tech on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 9 p.m.