Miracle comeback effort falls short, Syracuse drops third straight at No. 3 Virginia
Jim Boeheim was right about one thing in regards to his Orange basketball team.
This year's Syracuse team does not quit.
When the Orange trailed by double digits with under a minute to play, they refused to simply lay down.
Instead, Syracuse battled back to make it a two-possession game.
Three straight steals, leading to three consecutive baskets, gave Syracuse a chance with under 30 seconds to play.
However, Virginia squashed any sense of hope by converting at the free throw line to seal it.
Frank Howard finished with a team-high 18 points on the night, but did commit seven turnovers in the road loss.
Oshae Brissett had 16 points to go with eight rebounds, while Tyus Battle ended the day with 12 points.
Battle was unable to convert from three-point territory, going 0-for-7 on the night.
Syracuse went step-for-step with the No. 3-ranked Cavaliers, though, at least in the first half, anyway.
Howard's 11 points had the Orange in the game at the half, only trailing 29-26.
But in the second half, the Cavaliers answered the bell with a barrage of three-pointers, mainly from Virginia star sophomore Kyle Guy, who finished with a game-high 22 points.
Tuesday's loss dropped the Orange to 1-3 in ACC play, and 12-5 overall.
"I thought the first half we did a pretty good job defensively and getting to the shooters," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said during his post game press conference. "They hurt us a little bit inside. [De'Andre] Hunter hurt us inside. In the second half, we did a better job on him, but we didn't get to [Ty] Jerome a couple times. Those guys are good shooters, they're going to make shots. Our offense was pretty good in the first half, for the most part. In the second half, when we really had some opportunities, we couldn't get the ball in the basket.
"We need to find a way to score some more points if we're going to be effective," Boeheim continued. "Obviously, Virginia is a tremendous defensive team, but I thought we got into some opportunities where we had some pretty good looks at the basket. But in the second half, we just went 0-for-10 from the three-point-line to start the second half. We made some of those in the first half that kept us in the game."
Syracuse will return to action Saturday when it visits No. 23 Florida State for a 2 p.m. start. The game will be televised on NBC3.