Florida State had to make 3-pointers with consistency to break Syracuse’s zone defense. The Seminoles were consistently dreadful.
FSU shot just 4 of 30 from beyond the arc — including two misses with less than 10 seconds left —as Syracuse knocked off the Seminoles 63-60 to halt FSU’s 25-game home ACC win streak.
“Obviously we’re extremely disappointed that we didn’t find a way to make a lot of those open looks,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “They had wide-open uncontested shots. I’m not real sure we could have gotten a lot better shots than we had.”
The Seminoles (5-3, 0-1 ACC) got little production from their veterans: Malik Osborne was 2 of 9 from the floor, Anthony Polite was 2 of 8 from the floor and Wyatt Wilkes was 0 of 5 from the floor. FSU went for long stretches without a bucket from the floor in the second half and let an eight-point halftime lead slip away.
Rayquan Evans returned to the team and was a spark on the court, scoring nine points and pulling down six rebounds.
Caleb Mills scored 16 points, shooting 5 of 8 from the floor, as FSU pulled in front 32-24 at the half. But Mills wasn’t a factor in the second half until he nailed a corner 3-pointer with just under 5 minutes to go. He added a late drive to cut the deficit to 61-57 with 1:33 to go.
There were other chances late, including Osborne’s steal and pass to Polite, who dribbled up the court but lost control and the ball went out of bounds.
In the end, Syracuse made enough 3-pointers and Cole Swider’s free throws with 10 seconds left game the Orange a 63-60 lead. Mills missed a 3-pointer and Osborne rebounded, ran to the corner in front of the FSU bench and launched a desperate 3-pointer that fell short.
Naheem McLeod returned to the floor after missing three games and had six points and four rebounds.
Two Syracuse players had double-doubles: Jesse Edwards fouled out with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Swider had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Joseph Girard III had 16 points, while Jimmy Boeheim had 13 points for the Orange (5-3, 1-0).
FSU shot just 22 of 63 (34.9 percent) from the floor as well as the 4 of 30 (13.3 percent) from long range. It was a season-high for 3-pointers attempted for FSU.
The Seminoles had won 25 straight ACC home games, a streak that dated to a January 2019 win over Clemson. FSU was one shy of tying Duke’s record.
Hamilton said Cam’Ron Fletcher has a fractured bone in his face, an injury that was suffered during the Purdue game. The team is trying to get a custom mask for him, but the swelling has impacted the right size for him to wear in practices or games. Hamilton said Fletcher was uncomfortable and not able to see as well.
The Syracuse-FSU box score can be viewed in PDF format here.
FSU has a long break for exam week and will next play South Carolina at Rock Hill, S.C., on Dec. 12 at noon. The Seminoles’ next home game will be against Lipscomb on Dec. 15 at 9 p.m.