Syracuse hangs with Duke, falls late without Tyus Battle –

Syracuse hangs with Duke, falls late without Tyus Battle –

Frank Howard scored a career high 28 points in Syracuse’s ACC Quarterfinal loss to Duke

Syracuse Basketball doesn’t want to hear anything about moral victories, but whether they like or not, one may have developed on Thursday night.

The Orange did lose to Duke 84-72 in the ACC Quarterfinal in its second straight game without leading scorer Tyus Battle.

The silver lining can be what the Orange showed in this game: Heart.

Syracuse fell behind early 32-15 in Zion Williamson’s return game, a matchup where the mythical Williamson didn’t miss a single field goal attempt en route to 29 points and 14 rebounds.

Despite that, the Orange rallied to tie the game behind a fantastic night from Frank Howard with 28 points on 11-20 shooting, good enough for a career high in points.

Buddy Boeheim contributed 15 points and Oshae Brissett poured in 14 points and seven rebounds.

After the Orange tied the game at 46, Duke started to pull away almost immediately, using a 14-5 run at one point and ultimately outscoring Syracuse 38-26 in the final 13 minutes.

The Orange finds itself in the best position it’s been on Selection Sunday since 2014. In other words, the Orange’s NCAA Tournament fate appears to be secure.

Orange fans will know for sure during the Selection Special on CBS5 this Sunday at 6:00 p.m. but make no mistake, the waiting game is really centered on where Syracuse is placed.

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