Syracuse basketball dips back below .500 in 76-71 loss to Florida State

SU basketball back below .500 after 76-71 loss to FSU

Down at halftime, the Seminoles outscored the Orange 40-34 in Saturday's second half.
Published: January 15, 2022
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Joe Girard III scored 11 points and dropped five turnovers against the Seminoles on Saturday afternoon.

Syracuse men’s basketball lost another close one. On Saturday afternoon at the Dome, the Orange fell at the hands of Florida State 76-71.

It’s their fourth loss of conference play by five points or fewer and fifth of the season. Syracuse had an opportunity to take the lead with under 30 seconds to go.

Jim Boeheim elected to call and timeout and got the ball down to Jimmy Boeheim for a short jump hook that he missed. The miss led to a Florida State score securing the win for the Seminoles.

“I thought we made a good play. I thought we were fouled, but if they don’t call it, they don’t call it,” Jim said. “It’s disappointing, it’s a difficult way to lose for sure. I thought we battled really hard.”

The loss to the Seminoles was more of the same from the Orange. SU lept out to an early lead and seemed to take control midway through the first holding a 10-point lead with about five minutes to go in the first half.

Florida State was able to cut it to a one-point deficit going into the break, but the Orange held a 37-36 edge at halftime. FSU came out of the locker room on fire and grabbed a seven-point lead with 11:50 remaining in the second half.

The Orange battled back with some big buckets from Cole Swider and Buddy Boeheim down the stretch. Swider had a nice bounce back game after going 0-4 from deep against Pittsburgh. He finished with 17 points, including four triples.

“I don’t measure my performance on how many points I score. I go into the gym and work hard every single day,” Swider said. “All I want to do is win with this team.”

Buddy scored consistently throughout the game and led the way with 18 points. Joe Girard III played well in the first half with 11 points. FSU switched all ball screens which gave the junior point guard opportunities to attack and make plays.

But in the second half, Girard struggled to take advantage of the same opportunities. Florida State held him scoreless.

“He just didn’t seem to be in it,” Jim said about Girard. “He wasn’t aggressive offensively.”

The Syracuse zone allowed Florida State, which usually shoots around 33% from downtown, to shoot 60% from deep. Caleb Mills hit five of his six three-pointers and Wyatt Wilkes had three triples off the bench.

Boeheim mentioned that his team’s defense has been playing better but they weren’t as effective as they needed to be today. “We have to defend it better than we did,” Boeheim said.

Despite the loss, Jim relied heavily on a three-guard lineup with Symir Torrence, Girard and Buddy all on the court. He said the lineup allowed them to break the Seminoles’ pressure.

“We needed someone to help us get the ball up. Joe couldn’t get the ball up consistently,” Jim said. “I thought (Symir) was great. I thought he really did a great job getting the ball up the floor.”

“(Symir) did a good job of just kind of breaking their press and get into our offense more smoothly,” Swider said.

The loss drops the Orange to 8-9 on the season and 2-4 in conference play. The Orange host Clemson Tuesday night. Tipoff is at 9 p.m.