A quick take on Syracuse’s 82-72 win against Florida State on Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome:
WHAT HAPPENED: After Dwayne Bacon’s 3-pointer with 1:47 left pulled FSU to within 72-70, John Gillon responded with 10 straight points to keep the Seminoles at bay. Gillon’s clutch play (he scored 13 points with under three minutes to go) down the stretch saved Syracuse from a potentially deflating loss, as the Orange nearly blew an 18-point halftime lead.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse finally got its signature win, toppling a ranked opponent for the first time this season and breathed a little life back into SU’s postseason hopes. The Orange did it by going +3 on the boards against a long and athletic FSU team, and got excellent guard play from Gillon, who scored 21 points and added 11 assists. It was also a spirited defensive effort, with the Orange forcing 15 turnovers and holding FSU to below 40 percent shooting from the field. Could this be the springboard that puts SU back on the NCAA map? It has the potential to be.
HERO: Aside from Gillon, Andrew White (24 points, nine rebounds) and Tyler Lydon (14 points, 11 rebounds, six blocks) starred for SU. Jonathan Isaac and Dwayne Bacon each had 19 for FSU.
ZERO: Frank Howard still continues to struggle. He didn’t play at all in the second half, and had more turnovers (3) than points (2).
WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange will look for its first road win of the season when it travels down to North Carolina State on 2/1 for a 7 p.m. tip. TV: ESPN2.