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Syracuse Grinds Out Win at Florida State

The Orange won its ACC opener by snapping the Seminoles home winning streak.

Syracuse used a strong defensive effort and made enough shots to knock off Florida State 63-60 in the ACC opener for both teams. With the win, Syracuse improved to 5-3 on the season while the Seminoles fell to the same record. Next up for the Orange is sixth ranked Villanova on Tuesday in Madison Square Garden. 

The Orange won its first game at Tallahassee since 2014 and snapped Florida State's 25 game home winning streak in conference play. That streak was one shy of the ACC record of 26 set previously by Duke. 

This was supposed to be a game that gave Syracuse all sorts of problems. The Orange has struggled against athletic, aggressive defenses, which is exactly what Florida State is. Not to mention the Seminoles are a good rebounding squad, which is another area of weakness for Syracuse. That played out as expected to some extent. Florida State's defense did frustrate SU at times. 

Syracuse shot just 35% for the game, but 50% after halftime. The Orange turned it over 13 times, but that was five less than Florida State forces on average. What most did not account for was a strong defensive effort from Syracuse. Syracuse held FSU to 35% shooting overall and 13% from beyond the arc while forcing 11 turnovers. Syracuse even won the rebounding battle 41-40. 

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It started out rather ugly offensively, with Syracuse shooting just 23% in the first half and scoring only 24 points. The Orange trailed by eight at halftime. Despite that, there was room for optimism. Syracuse was getting good shots offensively, they just were not falling. In the second half, they fell. 

Syracuse scored 39 points on 50% shooting overall and 39% from beyond the arc. The Orange led by as many as 11, but Florida State rallied late to give itself a chance at a tying three in the final seconds that missed long. 

Cole Swider and Joe Girard had 16 points each for Syracuse. Swider hit two free throws with 10 seconds left to push the lead to three, and grabbed 10 rebounds. Buddy Boeheim struggled shooting the ball with just six points on 3-10 shooting. He did dish out a game high five assists, however. Symir Torrence played 12 minutes off the bench and also had five assists. Jesse Edwards had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Jimmy Boeheim added 13 points. Florida State was led by Caleb Mills, who finished with 16 points and three assists.