Close Call! Syracuse escapes St. Francis upset bid

The St. Francis (NY) Terriers aren't exactly a team that strikes fear in the heart of college basketball fans.

On Monday though, they did that and more.

St. Francis came to the Carrier Dome and almost shocked 9th ranked Syracuse, before the Orange went on a 9-0 run down the stretch to win 56-50

It was a close game throughout, with the Orange nursing a 4-point halftime lead before St. Francis led by as many as four points in the second half. From there however, SU clamped down on defense and earned some timely plays from Jerami Grant to seal the win.

Orange fans went silent after Ben Mockford drilled a three for St. Francis to give the Terriers a 49-46 lead. After that, SU made some key free throws and Jerami Grant took over.

Grant put back a CJ Fair miss to tie the game at 50 points apiece.

On the ensuing posession, Grant forced a steal and passed off to Michael Gbinije for the go-ahead layup with one minute to play.

Holding onto that two point lead, Grant came through again with another steal on defense. This time, he was fouled and hit both free throws to give Syracuse a 54-50 lead and essentially ice the game.

Grant scored 13 points to go along with 8 rebounds in the victory while Jamesville-Dewitt grad DaJuan Coleman scored 14 points, 12 of which came in the first half.

Syracuse improves to 4-0 this season, and heads to Hawaii to take on Minnesota next Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. as part of the Maui Invitational.