After 25 straight wins, the Syracuse Orange have lost their third game in their last four as they fall to Virginia, 75-56.
The fourth-ranked Orange, 26-3 (13-3), are still in second place in the ACC, but North Carolina and Duke are just one game behind them at 12-4. With the win, the 12th-ranked Cavaliers, 23-5 (16-1), clinched the ACC regular season title and the number one seed in the upcoming ACC tournament. C.J. Fair had 13 for the Orange on just 4-13 shooting. Trevor Cooney had 12 points and Tyler Ennis also added 13, but he fouled out for the first time in his career. Malcolm Brogdon led the Cavaliers with 19 points and Akil Mitchell put in 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
The first half started with Virginia getting out to a 22-15 lead, but a Fair jumper helped bring the Orange to life, sparking a 5-9 shooting stretch in the last six and a half minutes to give the Orange a 28-27 lead heading into halftime. The second half picked up right where the first half left off, as both teams came out trading baskets. After a couple of threes from Virginia and Cooney, the score was tied at 40 with just under 14 minutes to play. This is when the tides turned.
After Ennis was forced to leave the game after picking up his fourth foul, a London Perrantes three capped off a 9-2 Cavalier run, giving them a 49-42 lead. UVA outscored the Orange 35-16 after that game-tying three by Cooney, and the 12th-ranked team in the country was able to pull away from the fourth-ranked Orange.
The Orange offense showed signs of a return from their recent struggles, but they failed to hit shots in the second half, shooting just 9-30 to end the game. The Cavaliers, on the other hand, got hot in the second half as they hit seven of their last eight attempts from three to close out the game. They ended up shooting 50 percent from the field and made eight of their 16 three point attempts. The Cavaliers also dominated the glass, out rebounding the Orange 39-29, including 26 offensive rebounds.
Trevor Cooney seemed to be breaking out of his slump by starting off the game 4-7. After that big three to tie the game at 40, things changed as he finished the game 0-5. He shot just 3-10 from beyond the arc the whole game. Jerami Grant missed the second half of the game for the second straight contest, as lingering back issues continue to bother the sophomore. He attempted just three shots and scored zero points.
The Orange have two more games left in the regular season. Their next game will be Senior Day against Georgia Tech at the Carrier Dome. Tip is at & p.m. ET on Tuesday night.