BROOKLYN -- On January 4, Syracuse defeated Miami, 70-55, at the Carrier Dome. It was the only regular season meeting for the two, again paired today in an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament second-round game at Barclays Center. While that game was over two months ago, Miami used it not as revenge, but a means to correct what went wrong for them.
In what Miami coach Jim Larranaga termed a great college game, the Hurricanes held off the Orange, 62-57, to advance to the quarterfinals, where they will face North Carolina. Miami is now 21-10, while Syracuse falls to 18-14.
First five possessions:
Syracuse: Field goal, field goal, turnover, turnover, missed field goal
Miami: Missed three-point field goal, turnover, three-point field goal, field goal, missed field goal
The 5-4 Miami lead with 16:16 remaining in the first half was indicative of a deliberate pace, as Syracuse used almost the entire clock on their first two field goals. Miami looked to get a touch inside against the 2-3 Orange zone.
First half observations: The deliberate pace continued on the Syracuse end. The first half did not give the Orange an easy basket. Miami, given some daylight, showed no fear in attempting the three, which the Hurricanes used by threatening to pull away on several occasions. Each time, Syracuse’s Andrew White III was there to answer with a key bucket. An interesting shot chart breakdown at this juncture showed only three Syracuse field goals in the last eight minutes of the half, all by the fifth-year senior.
Miami led 36-28 at the half. In a deliberate 28-possession game, the Hurricanes posted a 129 offensive efficiency to the 100 of Syracuse. Miami’s effective field goal percentage was 76, largely due to 6-of-11 shooting from three-point range.
Second half observations: Syracuse set the tone on the first possession of the second half when freshman Tyus Battle buried a three. The first four minutes saw the Orange outscore Miami, 6-2. At the 16-minute mark, their deficit was four, making it a two-possession game and a good start of the final twenty minutes to give themselves some momentum.
Jim Boeheim’s group then went into a drought, with only six points over a ten-minute stretch. However, Miami was unable to take advantage, and late in the game, the Orange made another run. Just as White did for Syracuse in the first half, Kamari Murphy came up big for Miami when they needed to stop the bleeding.
The Orange trailed by five with a minute to go and had a chance to pull it out after Davon Reed missed the second half of a one-and-one with seven seconds left. Syracuse rebounded down three, and John Gillon had a good luck at the top of the key, but misfired. Miami sealed the game with two free throws to advance.
The first meeting between these two teams saw Syracuse easily win the rebounding battle, taking advantage of a lethargic effort by Miami. Both were primary considerations by coach Jim Larranaga, and both were remedied as the Hurricanes advanced.
Offensive efficiency: Miami 111, Syracuse 102
Effective field goal percentage: Miami 52, Syracuse 51
Free throw rate: Miami 24, Syracuse 30
Offensive rebound percentage: Miami 29, Syracuse 15
Turnover rate: Miami 14, Syracuse 18
Leading scorers and effectiveness factors:
Miami: Kamari Murphy, 16 points (EF 26)
Syracuse: Andrew White III, 22 points (EF 30)
NOTES: Miami led 20-10 on points in the paint, and in a key stat besides rebounding, in Larranaga’s estimation, they held Syracuse to zero second chance points. Tyler Lydon of Syracuse led all rebounders with 12. Murphy paced Miami with 10, five of which came on the offensive end. His five were more than Syracuse’s four as a team. The Hurricanes grabbed nine on their offensive end.
Postgame Quotes (courtesy of ASAP Sports)