Frantic Finish: Syracuse drops second straight ACC game after Notre Dame capitalizes
Tyus Battle had a chance to send Syracuse fans home happy with a game-winning basket during Saturday's game with Notre Dame.
However, what followed was a frenetic finish that no Syracuse fan could have ever possibly imagined.
With 25 seconds [and counting], along with a tied, 49-49 game, Battle had the ball in his hands with a chance to win it for the Orange.
But as Battle attempted to make a move towards the basket, he lost control of the basketball, resulting in an Irish breakaway down the court for TJ Gibbs.
With two defenders contesting Gibbs at the rim, his shot went long off the backboard.
But that's when Rex Pflueger made the heads-up play to track down the miss and convert the uncontested layup with two seconds left.
51-49, Notre Dame.
That's when the Orange frantically in-bounded the ball to Howard, who took three dribbles and heaved a prayer from midcourt, but was unable to draw iron.
"We're going to be in those kinds of games," Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said after the game. "We just cannot score. It's been a struggle and it's probably going to continue to be a struggle for us to score points. But they're battling as hard as they can. This was the first game that somebody really got physical on the boards against us, and we could not rebound."
Boeheim was referring to the rebounding margin between the two team. Notre Dame compiled 42 rebounds, 17 of which on the offensive glass, while Syracuse could only muster 27.
After Wednesday's road loss to Wake Forest, the Orange needed a win in the worst way, especially going into next week's gauntlet of road tests at No. 8 Virginia (Tuesday) and at No. 24 Florida State (Saturday).
Battle led all scorers with 21 points, while Oshae Brissett finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Syracuse and Virginia will meet Tuesday at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on The CW (Channel 6).