The Syracuse Orange went on the road Monday night and fought off the Maryland Terrapins for a 57-55 win, snapping their two-game losing skid.
Tyler Ennis led the Orange with 20 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals. C.J. Fair had 17 points on 8-17 shooting and nine rebounds. Seth Allen led the Terrapins with 22 points, mostly due to his six three-pointers. Dez Wells added 15 points, 13 of which came in the second half.
The Orange looked like they were going to have a good offensive game as they started the night on an 18-8 run on 8-12 shooting. Fair started the game 5-7, but picked up his third foul with five and a half minutes left in the half. The Orange only scored six points after that, including an Ennis three with one second left in the half, giving them a 32-24 lead going into the break.
The Orange controlled the second half and behind the play of Ennis (11 points on 5-9 in the second half) had a 51-39 lead with 5:43 left to play. After that, Ennis didn’t take a shot and the Terrapins slowly climbed their way back. Five made free throws and two three-pointers later, the Terrapins saw themselves down by just four with two and a half left. A Trevor Cooney turnaround jumper put the Orange up by six, 56-50, with less than two minutes left, but the Terrapins answered with five straight. After a Fair miss, the Terps had a chance to take the lead but Nick Faust had his shot blocked by Baye Moussa Keita, forcing them to foul twice to put the Orange on the line with four seconds left. Cooney split the free throws, giving the Terps a chance to tie or win, but a desperation three by Allen hit the rim and out at the buzzer.
After taking that 51-39 lead, the Orange went 2-7 from the field turned the ball over twice in less than five and a half minutes to finish the game. They only attempted six free throws for the game and hit just three of them, compared to Maryland’s 19-27. The Orange made just 24 of their 60 shot attempts. Fair and Ennis combined for 37 of the team’s points and shot a combined 48 percent. The rest of the squad shot 7-25 (28 percent).
The Orange’s offensive woes continued, shooting just 6-19 from three. They have made just 12 of their last 52 three-point attempts (28 percent). Cooney’s struggles continued Monday night. After the redshirt sophomore made his first two three-point attempts of the night, he finished the game 3-13 and 2-9 from three. Over the past five games, Cooney has shot 8-33 from beyond the arc. The Orange need more production from their guards and Ennis’ 9-18 was huge for them, they just need their three-point specialist back in top form.
On the other hand, the Orange defense continues to stifle opposing offenses. The Terrapins made just 14 shots the entire game, eight were threes, but they shot just 35 percent for the game. The Orange also had eight steals and forced 18 total turnovers, scoring 26 points off of them. The Terps did however win the battle on the boards, 34 to 32.
Jerami Grant played just 13 minutes for the Orange due to back issues, he scored just four points and sat out the entire second half.
The Orange play again on Saturday in Virginia against the Cavaliers, who are 14-1 and in first place in the ACC, in a battle for positioning in the conference standings. Tip is at 4 p.m. ET.