In a game that featured 28 total made 3-pointers, it was the 8th seeded Syracuse Orange on the losing end of things when all was said and done. The Orange is bounced 78-69 by the No. 9 seeded Baylor Bears in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Syracuse, of course, was playing without Frank Howard as he was suspended the day before the game and Baylor started the game scorching-hot from beyond the arc. The team’s first six made field goals were 3-pointers. Baylor as a team finished with 10 made shots from behind the arc in the first half.
Syracuse guard Elijah Hughes kept the Orange in the game with 18 first-half points, including five made 3s. The Bears had a 39-38 advantage at half.
The lead changed in this game 12 times and the Orange had its last lead at 53-50 with 12:59 to play in the game thanks to a Tyus Battle dunk.
Afte tying the game at 57 with 9:47 to play, Syracuse made just two field goals down the stretch.
In the end it was the Bears that finished with a better overall field goal percentage (53.8%) compared to Syracuse (41.2%).
Hughes finished with a game-high 25 points. Tyus Battle had 16 points and now has 1,647 in his career, which is just 13 points away from tying for 15th all-time. Oshae Brissett chipped in with 14 and 8 rebounds.
Makai Mason led Baylor with 22 points. Four different Bears had three or more 3-pointers on the night.
Baylor will face No. 1 Gonzaga in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.
Syracuse finishes the season at 20-14.