Florida State survives Syracuse in double overtime, 101-90
In a game they absolutely had to win, the Florida State Seminoles came back from a seven-point deficit in the second half to rally past Syracuse 101-90 in double overtime.
Trent Forrest's runner with 25 seconds left in the first overtime tied the game for the Seminoles, who then overwhelmed the tired Orange in the second overtime, outscoring them by 11 points.
Playing without leading scorer Terance Mann, Florida State still managed 101 on Syracuse on Saturday. Braian Angola finished with a team-high 24 points, including a huge 3-pointer from the wing in the second overtime.
"Today I thought we just kind of held on for a little longer, maybe had a little more depth," FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said. "We had some guys step up and make some plays. We were very fortunate to get away with a victory.
"I think the game was just as important to them as it was to us. I thought both teams fought very hard. We just hung on a little longer and were able to pull it out."
The Seminoles had a 10-point lead at halftime but immediately squandered it as Syracuse outscored them by 17 points in the first eight minutes of the second half.
But Angola hit a big 3 and P.J. Savoy came off the bench to knock down two big 3's in a row to give the lead back to the Seminoles. From there it went back and forth, with each team having chances to win.
After Tyus Battle (37 points in 50 minutes) hit a contested 3 to tie the game with 6.4 seconds left, Mfiondu Kabengele had a chance to win it at the end of regulation but his runner bounced off the rim.
Then at the end of the first overtime, after Forrest's runner, the Orange had a chance to win but an open 3 from the corner was off the mark and it went to a second overtime.
From there it was all FSU as the Orange simply ran out of gas and players - three starters fouled out for Syracuse.
Junior center Christ Koumadje had a career-high 23 points, including 15 after halftime.
Forrest also had 11 rebounds and seven assists starting in place of Mann.
Florida State is now 13-4 overall and 2-3 in the ACC. Syracuse drops to 12-6 and 1-4.
"This is a very big win for us," Angola said. "I mean, going 2-3 is better than going 1-4. Now we've got to take it one game at a time. We let the Louisville one slip through our hands."
They let another halftime lead slip away in this one, too. But unlike the four-point loss to Louisville on Wednesday night, they were able to snatch a victory away in the final minutes.
The first half was an ugly one for both teams. Neither could get much of anything going offensively. Florida State missed shots against the vaunted Syracuse zone and the Orange had trouble finishing at the rim against Florida State's length.
But the Seminoles managed to take a 31-21 lead into the locker room thanks to a 7-0 run over the final 1:48. Braian Angola made two assists to Christ Koumadje for dunks and also hit a 3 from the cormer.
For the half, the Seminoles were just 12 of 35 from the floor and 4 of 16 from 3. Syracuse was 9 of 28 from the floor and 3 of 8 from 3. The two teams combined for 16 turnovers.
Still, despite the game being played at a pace slower than FSU wanted, it still had another double-digit lead at halftime.
Updates on Mann, Savoy injuries
Hamilton said after the game that he doesn't expect Mann (concussion) or Savoy (ankle) to play on Monday night at Boston College.