Syracuse Orange Triumph Despite Giving Too Much to the Maryland Terrapins

Mark Turgeon

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland Terrapins did not shoot well, turned the ball over way too many times and could not figure out the Syracuse Orange zone for most of the game and somehow still had a chance to pick up an upset.

The Terrapins had two chances, but a Nick Faust drive to the hoop with less than 10 seconds remaining fell just short and a game-winning try by Seth Allen hit off the backboard a touch too hard as the Orange escaped College Park, ended a two-game slide and won 57-55, Monday.

Maryland probably needed to upset Syracuse to get into the NCAA tournament bubble conversation and will now need to win the ACC tournament if coach Mark Turgeon‘s Terps want to earn a bid. Maryland looked like it was going to drop to Syracuse without much of a battle as it fell behind by as many as 12 points in the second half. Maryland was able to stay in the game with eight 3-pointers and a defensive effort that held Syracuse to 40 percent shooting.

Syracuse showed up on the defensive end as the 2-3 zone frustrated Maryland most of the game and helped force 18 turnovers. While the zone did not directly cause a lot of the Maryland errors, the Terrapins lack of execution led to miscues and bad passes.

The Orange offense is definitely still a major concern. Tyler Ennis led the team with 20 points on 9-of-18 shooting and C.J. Fair added 17 points on 8-of-17 shooting, but the team forced up a lot of bad shots and no other player scored in double-figures. With the Virginia Cavaliers‘ game looming, Syracuse’s lack of efficiency on offense could cost the Orange.

Syracuse still has a chance to claim a regular season ACC crown, but the offense has been in a major rut. Coach Jim Boeheim must figure out ways to get Ennis, Fair and Trevor Cooney cleaner opportunities before the NCAA tournament.

Gregory T. Philson is an ACC college basketball writer at RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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