Syracuse surprises Florida State to advance in ACC Tournament

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Nov 30, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Cole Swider (21) looks on against the Indiana Hoosiers during the second half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

With the game tied at eight almost six minutes into the action, Syracuse turned on the jets and blew out Florida State in the second round of the ACC Tournament in Brooklyn, 96-57. The ninth-seeded Orange (16-16) used a 17-2 run to grab control and kept going from there, allowing the #8 seed Seminoles (17-14) to briefly get into single digits just once before blowing the game open.

While not scoring prior to that decisive early run, Cole Swider had 11 points in that span, including a trio of triples, just the start of things to come from him. Swider spent the final 12:21 of the game on the bench after compiling 28 points and 13 rebounds, notching 20 and nine in the first half alone.

FSU was undone by a complete lack of offense, particularly from outside the arc. The ‘Noles shot 32.4 percent overall and a meager 2-of-25 from long range, including a streak of 15 consecutive missed three-pointers. In contrast, SU came in at 51.4 percent overall and 39.3 percent from three-point range. A side product of Florida State’s lack of marksmanship was the Orange crushing them on the glass in the second half, 31-13, en route to a dominant 52-35 overall rebounding advantage.

In addition to Swider’s early explosion, Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard III each added a three in that spurt that staked Syracuse to a 25-10 lead before the midpoint of the first half. The Seminoles hung the next six points, but the Orange struck back with a 19-6 barrage to double them up at 44-22 with under two minutes until halftime. Girard led the way with seven points in that streak, helping SU to a 49-26 halftime lead.

The lead never got below that 23-point difference in the second half. Early in the second session, Swider did half the work in a 12-2 Syracuse run that pushed the lead to 70-34. Buddy and Jimmy Boeheim later combined for all the Orange points in a 9-2 run that pushed the lead to 40 with 7:32 to play, the latter cocking back a dunk for the exclamation point.

» Related: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim could go 3-5 more years, former guard says

Cole Swider, who hit four triples in the game, was backed on his big day by Frank Anselem, who came off the bench to contribute nine points, 15 boards, and three blocks. Three other Syracuse players reached double figures, led by Joe Girard III, who also hit from deep four times for most of his 16 points. Buddy Boeheim added three bombs from long range among his 14 points and Jimmy Boeheim had ten of his 12 points in the second half. Symir Torrence set season highs by adding nine points and handing out nine assists.

Matthew Cleveland was the only FSU player to reach double figures in scoring, finishing with 13 points. Tanor Ngom added nine points while Anthony Polite had eight to go with a team-leading seven rebounds.

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About Jim Stechschulte 862 Articles
A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. He currently resides in Syracuse.