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Virginia men’s hoops falls to Syracuse in overtime, 63-55

14 January 2020

Virginia got first blood in the extra five minutes, on a Mamadi Diakite driving layup, but it was all Syracuse from there.

Even though Syracuse basketball has scored much better in recent games, and way better than how they started the year versus Virginia the first time, against Virginia that is unlikely.

In road and neutral games, the Orange are just 1-3 against the spread, 0-6 in their last six games and just 4-11 overall on the season.

Boeheim later beat the shot clock with a 30-foot 3-pointer that banked in to put Syracuse ahead 57-49 with 1:19 left.

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The shots were similar to ones they'd missed in regulation, coach Boeheim said, with the only difference being that in the overtime, they went in.

"There are certain things you can't control and that is the message", Coach Tony Bennett said. "We have to get better and we have to stick together".

Among the oddities in this one for Virginia: Jay Huff had, from the numbers, a solid game - 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 10 rebounds in a career-high 40 minutes of floor time, but it felt like Huff was a liability.

Virginia is led by Diakite (12.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 blocks per game) and sophomore guard Kihei Clark (9.9 points, 5.7 assists, 4.4 rebounds per game). In this one, you can't put it all on them as they did play tough - but at this time of year, and when trying to make March, playing tough isn't always enough. In fact, Tony Bennett's pack-line defensive scheme now has the Cavaliers ranked first in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom.

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Syracuse, now ranked 95th in the NCAA's NET Ratings, is coming off a pair of tough losses at home against Notre Dame and Virginia Tech, respectively, where the Orange coughed up second-half leads. Tied at 43 and with under a minute remaining in regulation, each team took shots from behind the arc, but as neither found netting, the game headed into overtime. "It looks like there's some teams at the top that have a little bit of luxury to not be on their game and still be successful, but a lot of teams have to fight to play well to get victories".

Syracuse's overtime flurry of 3-pointers came after a brutal shooting exhibition for the game's first 40 minutes.

Tied at 11, junior forward Elijah Hughes scored back-to-back three-pointers to help Syracuse secure the lead. But they lost their next game at home to Virginia Tech.

Virginia: The Cavaliers' inconsistency on offense was on full display in the second half when they didn't score for almost 3 minutes, then scored 12 consecutive points in about 3 1/2 minutes to take a 35-30 lead. Virginia went 5-for-28 on 3-pointers.

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The Orange will be back home Wednesday night as they host Boston College. Virginia is going to need to step up that side of the game vastly as they too go into a more challenging schedule which will see them play Florida State, UNC, Duke and Louisville twice before the regular season is up.

Virginia men’s hoops falls to Syracuse in overtime, 63-55