A quick take on Syracuse’s 57-55 win against Maryland on Monday evening:
WHAT HAPPENED: Baye Moussa Keita blocked Nick Faust’s potential game-winning fastbreak layup with eight seconds left, preserving a Syracuse win in another wild finish. Syracuse appeared to have control of the game, taking a 51-39 lead with 5:43 left, but Maryland went on an 8-0 run, and eventually pulled to within 56-55 with 48 seconds left. CJ Fair missed a corner jumper with 17 seconds, leading to a run out from Maryland, but Keita’s block preserved SU’s one-point lead. From there, Trevor Cooney made 1 of 2 from the line before Seth Allen’s potential game-winning 3 clanked off the rim as time expired.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse may have ended its two-game losing streak, but didn’t do so in a particularly satisfying fashion. The Orange appeared in control for most of the second half, but, reminiscent of SU’s first loss of the season against Boston College, porous perimeter defense and untimely turnovers allowed an inferior opponent back into the contest. A look at Syracuse’s performance in the final 1:58 of the game tells the story: 0-2 from the field. 1-2 from the line. Two fouls. One turnover.
HERO: With CJ Fair in foul trouble in the first half, and Jerami Grant unavailable in the second half due to back spasms, Tyler Ennis assumed a larger role in the offense, finishing with 20 points and six rebounds. Fair, who finished with four fouls, was effective when he was in the game, chipping in 17 points and nine rebounds. Seth Allen led the Terps with 22 points on 6-for-9 shooting from distance.
ZERO: While Dez Wells (15 points) and Allen shouldered the offense, they also combined for half of Maryland’s 18 turnovers. On Syracuse’s side, Trevor Cooney started the game by nailing his first two 3-pointers, but went 0-8 from beyond the arc the rest of the night.
WHAT’S NEXT: In a game that will likely decide the regular season ACC crown, the Orange travel to Virginia on Saturday, March 1 for a 4 p.m. tip. TV: ESPN/ESPN2.