Syracuse Survives Scare from Miami at the Carrier Dome to Win Their ACC Debut

Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2014

Tyler Ennis and the No. 2 Orange had just enough to hold off Miami.
Tyler Ennis and the No. 2 Orange had just enough to hold off Miami.Rich Barnes/Getty Images

The score may look more like that of a really good football game, rather than basketball, but for a Syracuse team making their ACC debut, it was good enough.

The No. 2 Orange (14-0, 1-0 ACC) overcame a stout Miami defensive effort to capture a 49-44 victory at the Carrier Dome on Saturday afternoon.

With the victory, Syracuse became the second team on the day to make a successful debut in the conference after moving from the Big East in the offseason. 

Early in the second half, things looked good for the defending conference champion Hurricanes (9-6, 0-2 ACC). Their patient offensive attack, and defensive pressure forced the Orange to open the second-half ice-cold and gave Miami the chance to open up a six point lead.

But Syracuse kept it close, and down the stretch, it was Miami who struggled to get the key stops and baskets necessary to maintain their lead and keep the raucous crowd out of the game.

The Orange were led by senior forward C.J. Fair and his 15 points. He was aided by sophomore guard Trevor Cooney who, despite his atrocious 2 of 12 shooting from the field, added 11 points and two clutch free throws in the closing seconds.

Miami, who stayed in the game with defense and three-point-shooting, didn't have a single player in double figures. They were led by senior guard Garrius Adams with nine points, all from three.

Both teams will have to make quick turnarounds. Syracuse hits the road for an ACC tilt at Virginia Tech on Jan.7.

Miami will find it no easier when they visit Chapel Hill to take on the No. 19 North Carolina Tar Heels on Jan. 8.