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Syracuse's first two ACC wins were filled with late drama, nail biting leads and last second shots that determined the outcome of the games.

The third one just featured a dominant performance from Trevor Cooney.

The junior guard scored a season-high 28 points, Rakeem Christmas notched his fifth double-double of the season and the Orange beat the Florida State Seminoles, 70-57, in the Carrier Dome on Sunday night.

Jim Boeheim To Be Honored at Dick Vitale Gala

Jan 8, 2015

Jim Boeheim is one of three coaches who will be honored in May by ESPN broadcaster Dick Vitale, during an annual fundraising event for pediatric cancer research.

The 10th Annual Dick Vitale Gala will include Boeheim as well as Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith and Florida State's football coach, Jimbo Fisher.  The event awards successful coaches who have also shown a commitment to fighting cancer.


The rules dictate that one team has to win.

And somehow, Georgia Tech still had one last chance to do just that, despite shooting just 28 percent on the night and missing every field goal attempt during the last 8:51 of the game.

Instead, Chris Bolden's wide-open three flailed off the rim and Quinton Stephens' put back attempt pinballed off the bottom of the backboard.  It was the only appropriate ending to a night of offensive futility, a game that Syracuse ended up winning, 46-45, in Hank McCamish Pavilion.

The Syracuse Orange survived a second half scare from Virginia Tech and held on for a 68-66 win on Saturday in the opener of ACC play.  Here are five key takeaways from Syracuse's win that nearly wasn't.

Free-Throw Shooting


The Hokie crowd erupted after Ron Patterson's two free throws clanked off the rim.  Suddenly, Syracuse's 22 point lead had dwindled down to two.  The Hokies, who couldn't buy a shot at times in the first half, couldn't miss in the final few minutes.  Virginia Tech had the momentum, the crowd behind them and, somehow, a one-possession game with four seconds left in the game.

Seth Goldberg (@sethgoldberg17)

If you ask Michael Gbinije to describe himself, he'd tell you he's a guard from Richmond, Va. But to the Orange, he's much more than that.

Gbinije is averaging 15.0 points over the past four games, and shoulders a lot of the team's ball handling responsibilities. He's also second on the team in assists per game, fourth in steals and tied for fourth in total rebounds.  

All while playing three positions.

It was another eye-opener for Syracuse's defense.  Except this time, it was a good thing.

After beating Long Beach State on Sunday, Jim Boeheim said his defense needed to play much better.   The Orange bounced back by holding Cornell to just 12 points in the first half on Wednesday night.

"We wanted to do a better job defensively, tonight," Boeheim said.   "I think we did."  

After a cold start to the season, Michael Gbinije has given the Orange a recent offensive spark with three straight games with at least ten points.

On Sunday, he gave the Carrier Dome crowd of 22,508 fans another reason to celebrate with a highlight-reel play midway through the first half.  Gbinije crept behind the defense, skied for the rebound and swung around the rim for a two-handed putback slam after Tyler Roberson's three bounced right above the basket.

Syracuse's Defense Destroys Raiders in Blowout Win

Dec 22, 2014

Trevor Cooney went into the locker room at intermission with 14 points, a good blend of inside and outside shooting that's continued a recent resurgence.

By that point, he not only led Syracuse in points, but outscored the entire Colgate lineup.

Only 17 seconds separated Syracuse from its biggest win of the season.

The Orange held a five-point lead, on the verge of upsetting No. 7 Villanova in the Wells Fargo Center. Syracuse had withstood a second half onslaught by the Wildcats, foul trouble and 18 turnovers as a team. 

But it was the 19th turnover -- a botched inbounds play -- that turned the game out of Syracuse's control.  The Wildcats took control of the loose ball and JayVaughn Pinkston scored the game-tying field goal with four seconds left, just moments after Josh Hart sunk a three.