COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Up by 12 points with just under 6 minutes left, No. 4 Syracuse appeared poised to secure an unusually easy victory.
Not a chance.
After letting the seemingly comfortable lead dwindle to a single point in the closing seconds, Syracuse squeezed past Maryland 57-55 on Monday to end a two-game losing streak.
It was another close call for the Orange (26-2, 13-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), whose previous four games were decided by a total of 12 points.
We’re in a lot of these games, coach Jim Boeheim said. For the most part we’ve made good plays at the end of them, and that’s why we are where we are. We’re not overpowering too many people, I can promise you that.
Syracuse led 51-39 with 5:45 left but allowed Maryland to close to 56-55 with 47 seconds remaining. After C.J. Fair missed a jumper for the Orange, Baye Moussa Keita blocked a driving layup by Nick Faust to keep Syracuse in front.
I thought Nick got fouled and the replay showed that, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. It’s been that type of year for us.
Trevor Cooney was fouled and made one of two free throws with 4 seconds to go before Maryland’s Seth Allen’s off-balance shot bounded off the back of the rim as the buzzer sounded.
Tyler Ennis scored 20 points and Fair had 17 to help Boeheim secure his 946th career victory. Like many of the previous ones during Syracuse’s first season in the ACC, this was not easy.
How many we played in the league now? We’ve had one that wasn’t close, Boeheim said. This was the game we were most ahead of in all except two. This has been how we’ve played since the league started. We were actually ahead, which we probably weren’t used to.
The Orange, which had lost two straight after winning the first 25, forced 18 turnovers and limited Maryland (15-13, 7-8) to 35 percent shooting.
Boeheim took exception to Turgeon’s claim that Faust was fouled on his drive to the hoop.
They shot 27 free throws. If anybody’s going to complain about the officiating, I’m going to complain, Boeheim said. If they didn’t turn it over 18 times, they wouldn’t have to worry about that.
No. 5 KANSAS 83, OKLAHOMA 75: In Lawrence, Kan., Naadir Tharpe had 19 points to lead five players in double figures as Kansas wrapped up a share of its 10th consecutive Big 12 championship.
Wayne Selden and Andrew Wiggins added 15 points each, and Joel Embiid had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Jayhawks (22-6, 13-2), who poured off the bench at the buzzer to celebrate the latest addition to their nation-leading 57 conference titles.
Cameron Clark had 18 points, and Buddy Hield finished with 16 for the Sooners (20-8, 9-6), who have lost 12 of their last 13 games against the Jayhawks, including both this season.