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(Saturday, January 25th)
Final Score: (2) Syracuse 64, Miami-Florida 52
Coral Gables, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Syracuse saw its perfect season hanging in the balance after Davon Reed's three-point play put Miami-Florida up one with just over eight minutes left.
But Syracuse's stout defense held the Hurricanes without a field goal over the next seven-plus minutes, and the Orange escaped BankUnited Center with a 64-52 victory on Saturday.
Jerami Grant led the Orange (19-0, 6-0 ACC) with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Tyler Ennis netted 14 points, including seven during Syracuse's 18-5 game-closing run.
"In the last few minutes of games this year we've made plays on both ends of the court," Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. "We couldn't stop them for awhile and when we had to stop them, we did stop them."
C.J. Fair followed with 13 points, seven boards and three assists for the Orange, who matched the 1999-2000 squad for the second best start in school history.
Reed paced the Hurricanes (10-9, 2-5) with 16 points off the bench, while Rion Brown registered 13 points and eight rebounds for Miami, which has lost two straight.
Reed's three-point play capped a 10-2 Miami push and gave the Hurricanes a 47-46 lead with 8:20 remaining, but the home team managed just one field goal the rest of the way as Syracuse ran away with the victory.
Ennis scored the first five points of the surge and Syracuse sank 8-of-8 from the free throw line in the final minute to keep its unbeaten season alive.
"I really didn't think that they played that well in the second half, but one thing that they do excellent is just closing out down the stretch," Reed said of Syracuse. "They really do a good job of having poise down the stretch."
The first half featured two big bursts -- one from each team -- before the Orange entered the locker room with a five-point lead.
Syracuse used a 16-1 surge during the middle stages of the first half to grab a 26-8 lead with 8:20 on the clock, but the Hurricanes knocked down four triples during an 18-5 flurry that found Miami within 31-26 at the break.
The Hurricanes got as close as two early in the second half, but couldn't get over the hump until Reed supplied six straight points to give Miami a one- point lead with just over eight minutes remaining.
Syracuse's best start to a season came in 2011-12 when the team went 20-0 ... Miami dropped a 49-44 decision at Syracuse on Jan. 4 ... Syracuse won the rebounding battle, 39-24, and outscored Miami 24-8 in the paint ... Miami got 22 points from its bench, compared to just four from Syracuse's reserves ... Miami's James Kelly scored six points and grabbed three boards before leaving the game late with a left leg injury.
01/25 17:06:00 ET
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