A quick take on Syracuse’s 49-44 win over Miami the Orange’s inaugural ACC game:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse shook off a poor offensive afternoon and used a late 8-0 run to take a 43-40 lead with 3:24 left after Miami had led by as many as six. Credit also went to the Orange defense, which held Miami to just two field goals in the final six minutes.
ANALYSIS: Understatement of 2014: This wasn’t Syracuse’s best offensive game. The Orange left the faithful in the Carrier Dome standing deep into the second half, missing its first 11 shots. By the time CJ Fair connected on the Orange’s first field goal of the second half, 9:44 had elapsed and SU was down 35-29. In contrast, a lucky fan plucked from the crowd was able to sink a shot while sitting in a recliner during a promotion. SU ended up shooting 36 percent from the field and 3-15 from 3-point land. But Syracuse’s defense clamped down in the final five minutes, an impetus to an 8-0 run, and the Orange was able to escape. No Miami player ended in double digits, and after a hot start from downtown, Miami finished just 7-19 from distance.
HERO: CJ Fair started quickly and led all scorers with 15 points. Rakeem Christmas, not exactly known for his offensive game, hit two key baskets to spark the late run, and finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds.
ZERO: Shooters can’t always be hot. And Trevor Cooney was not. He was just 2-12 from downtown, after coming in shooting better than 50 percent on the season.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse travels to Virginia Tech to play the Hokies on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 9 p.m. TV: ACC Network.