Syracuse moves on to NIT round 2
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Andrew White III made seven of his nine 3-point attempts and scored 34 points in leading Syracuse to a 90-77 victory over UNC Greensboro in a first-round NIT game on Wednesday night, giving coach Jim Boeheim a landmark 903rd win.
Boeheim moved a victory ahead of Bob Knight for second place all-time in Division I basketball. Boeheim's total does not include 101 wins vacated as a result of NCAA penalties.
White set the Syracuse single-season record with 109 3-pointers, on 269 attempts. The record had been held by current Orange assistant coach Gerry McNamara (2004-05), who made 107 on 315 tries.
Tyus Battle added 20 points for Syracuse (19-14), a No. 1 seed who will host fifth-seeded Mississippi in the second round. Tyler Lydon had 13 points and 10 rebounds for his eighth double-double this season.
Diante Baldwin led the Spartans (25-10), who were three-way co-champs in the Southern Conference, with 19 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Francis Alonso, the team's leading scorer at 15.2 ppg, was 1-of-9 shooting for three points.
A Frank Howard 3-pointer broke a tie and began a 12-0 run that gave Syracuse a 35-24 lead and it remained ahead, leading 47-37 at halftime. Battle scored seven points in a 16-4 run for a 22-point second-half lead. The Spartans got within seven on a Baldwin 3-pointer with two minutes left and nine free throws down the stretch kept the Orange in charge.
After getting into the NCAA Tournament last year with a 19-13 record and reaching the Final Four, Syracuse was left out despite beating three top-10 teams.
"For myself it took me a little while to get over it," Lydon said of not getting into the NCAA Tournament. "It's something you work for all year, to make it to a tournament, go on a run, and obviously try and win a national championship, so we put in so much time and effort and hard work into that, and it doesn't happen to come through, it's really hard. But, at the same time, it's not like we're done -- we can still play together, we can still play games, and try to win another championship."
Along with the NCAA disappointment, Boeheim drew the ire of the city of Greensboro when he remarked at the ACC Tournament that there was "no value" in the conference holding its tournament in the North Carolina city. Then Sunday, the two teams were matched up in the NIT, much to the amusement of Greensboro, who tweeted that they appreciated the NIT selection committee's sense of humor, though the committee chair, Reggie Minton, insisted the teams were not paired because of Boeheim's remarks.
The city of Greensboro was gracious in defeat in a tweet : "Congratulations Syracuse on its first round (hash)NIT win. Proud of the effort by (at)UNCGBasketball. The (Orange) is welcome to Greensboro anytime."