Saturday afternoon, Syracuse ran out of gas and almost out of active scholarship players in a 101-90 double-overtime loss at Florida State. Starters Frank Howard, Matthew Moyer, and Paschal Chukwu all fouled out for the Orange (12-6, 1-4 ACC) and Tyus Battle, who set a career-high with 37 points, simply could not keep up with the Seminoles (13-4, 2-3) in the final five minutes.
FSU opened the second overtime session with six straight points that triggered an 11-2 run that knocked out Syracuse. Battle, who had scored the final six points for SU in the first overtime, only mustered four in the second extra session, including a pair of foul shots with the Orange down 11 with under a minute on the clock.
SU started very slowly on offense, needing nearly five minutes to score five points, then went nearly five-and-a-half minutes before getting a three from Howard Washington to close the deficit to one point. Florida State stayed in front, eventually scoring a half dozen straight points for a 20-13 lead with just over five minutes left in the half.
Oshae Brissett’s lay-up and a ferocious putbank dunk by Paschal Chukwu brought the Orange within three. After trading scores with Syracuse for a couple minutes, the Seminoles scored the final seven points of the half to grab a 31-21 halftime lead.
Just over three-and-a-half minutes into the second half, SU finally got the better of the hosts, tearing off a 19-3 run. Tyus Battle was fouled on a three-point attempt and converted the trio at the line, then buried a pull-up three in transition. Frank Howard then went coast-to-coast for a lay-up, forcing an FSU timeout. Following the break, Brissett added a pair of foul shots to make it ten straight points and a 36-35 Syracuse lead.
The ‘Noles hopped back in front with a three-pointer, but the Orange poured on nine more. Paschal Chukwu made a pair at the line to knot the game, then Battle added one for an SU lead. Howard then set up Battle for a triple and, after another Chukwu free throw, dished to Matthew Moyer, who curled in a lay-up that made it 45-38 with just over eight minutes elapsed in the second half.
Syracuse held off FSU for four minutes, but no longer, as the hosts rolled off an 11-3 run to retake control at 57-55 with just under six minutes on the clock. The two squads alternated markers until the Seminoles scored on consecutive trips to go up by four. Howard halved that gap with a jumper just inside the arc, but committed his fifth foul just seconds later, leaving the game at the under-four media timeout.
Florida State stretched their lead to five with 1:19 to play, but Battle drove for a lay-up 15 seconds later. Moyer made a steal and passed to Washington, who was fouled and made two at the line to make it 70-69 with 54.9 seconds to play.
Phil Cofer connected on a three for the ‘Noles to push the lead to four, but Brissett drove and drew a foul. His two shots at the stripe halved the margin. Battle fouled and FSU got one of two for a three-point lead with 16.6 seconds on the clock. Battle brought the ball up and pulled for three from the right wing, burying the shot to tie the score at 74 with 6.4 seconds to go.
The Seminoles were able to get a rushed shot close to the rim, but it caromed away and the horn sounded, signaling overtime.
Moyer and Battle each connected on a pair from the line to stake SU to a 78-74 lead, but FSU scored on their next two trips to tie the game once more. Battle drove into the paint and flipped in a short shot to put the Orange in front again, but the ‘Noles got two free throws over two possessions, one via a flagrant foul call against Washington and the other coming on Moyer’s fifth foul, to knot the game again.
Battle broke the tie, using a rhythm dribble to bury a jump shot while straddling the three-point arc, giving Syracuse an 82-80 lead. Florida State knotted the score once more with 25 seconds to play. The Orange held the ball and eventually got an open trey for Brissett, but he could not connect. The Seminoles got the rebound and a heave from beyond half court, but the shot was well off the mark and a second overtime beckoned.
Florida State needed under two minutes to post the first six points of the second extra session and, after a pair of Battle free throws, rolled up five more points for a 93-84 lead with 2:49 on the clock. Brissett got a short shot to fall, but the Seminoles quickly pushed the gap to 11 points and coasted home from there.
Tyus Battle poured in 32 of his 37 points after halftime, including 22 in the second half alone. Battle also hit four of his five threes in the second half. Oshae Brissett fought through another tough shooting day (3-for-13) to finish with 14 points. Frank Howard had 11 of his 13 points in the second half before he fouled out and Pashcal Chukwu rung up a ten-point, 11-rebound double-double. Howard Washington had nine points and Matthew Moyer ten boards to go with his seven points.
Braian Angola topped FSU with 24 points, making four triples in the game. Christ Koumadje was right behind him with 23 points. Phil Cofer added 16 points while Mfiondu Kabengele and P.J. Savoy each chipped in with 11 points.
Syracuse will return home on Tuesday to face Pittsburgh. The Panthers (8-10, 0-5) are in a freefall, having lost their last five games. Earlier this week, Pitt lost their second-leading scorer and top rebounder when senior forward Ryan Luther, who is averaging a double-double for the season, had his campaign ended by a foot injury.
Jared Wilson-Frame leads the Panthers with 12.9 points per game. Marcus Carr (11.1 pts/game) and Shamiel Stevenson (9.8 pts/game) provide support to the Panthers’ attack.
Tuesday night’s tip-off is late, as SU and Pitt will face off at 9:00pm Eastern. The game will be televised on regional sports networks, as well as online at ESPN3.com.