Instant Juice: Syracuse 73, Florida State 78

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Syracuse lost two straight games to close the regular season

A quick take on Syracuse’s 78-73 loss against Florida State on Saturday afternoon:

WHAT HAPPENED: Tied at 55 with just over nine minutes left, an 8-0 run capped by a Dwayne Bacon layup gave FSU a 63-55 lead with 7:13 left. Three straight Seminole turnovers helped the Orange pull to within 76-73 with 22 seconds left, but Trevor Cooney’s potential game-tying 3 fell short. It was a brutal start for both teams, with just one point scored through the first five minutes, and the teams combining to shoot 0 for their first 13 from the field. SU was -17 on the boards and shot just 8-26 from downtown.

» Related: Saturday games to watch if you’re a Syracuse fan

ANALYSIS: The loss against an FSU team that will likely not make the NCAA Tournament puts a big dent in Syracuse’s own tourney hopes. The Orange was projected as a nine seed to start the day and among the ‘last four byes’ but SU may find itself on the outside of the bubble in the next projections. That puts tremendous pressure on the upcoming week in the ACC Tournament. A third straight loss would relegate the Orange to the NIT.

HERO: Malik Beasley had just two points at half, but exploded for 18 second-half points. Tyler Lydon scored 16 points off the bench, though most of his scoring came in the first half. Michael Gbinije led all scorers with 21 points before fouling out, finishing the regular season having scored in double-digits every game this year.

ZERO: To say that Cooney closed the season ice cold is an understatement. In his three previous games, he was a combined 5-28. He wasn’t much better against the ‘Noles, going 4-16 for 14 points.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse travels down to Washington DC for the ACC Tournament where it will play the 8/9 game on Wednesday.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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