Five Syracuse players scored 13 or more points as the Orange defeated No. 18 UConn 79-76 in the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament at Imperial Arena.
Tyler Lydon led the Orange with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije each scored 17.
Once again for UConn (4-1), Daniel Hamilton led the way. The sophomore had a near triple-double for the second straight game finishing with 18 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
Thursday’s game was the first time UConn and Syracuse met since 2013. In what used to be a defensive battle when the two programs met back in the days both were in the Big East, Thursday night was much different.
Syracuse (5-0) shot 48 percent from the field for the game, and 57 percent in the second half in which the Orange scored 45 points.
After beating Michigan late last night, the Huskies showed no signs of being tired to start the game. UConn jumped out to a 19-9 lead and Sterling Gibbs scored eight early points for the Huskies.
UConn led by as much as 10 in the first half, but Syracuse rallied back. The Orange took their first lead of the game (32-31) after Gbinije made a three with 1:36 left in the half.
The game was tied 34-34 at half time.
Syracuse would go on a 10-0 run over a 2:05 span in the second half to take a 54-47 lead. Their lead would eventually get to 65-55 with 7:47 left. Syracuse would lead by eight points with 4:42 left.
But then Rodney Purvis started to catch fire. He made his first three of the game with 6:06 left to get UConn within six points. He would hit two more threes to make it 73-71.
UConn would get one more three from Hamilton but that was the only field goal they would have in the final 3:59.
Purvis and Sterling Gibbs each scored 12 points and Amida Brimah added 10.
The Huskies shot 14 of 21 from the free-throw line (67 percent) and 26 of 60 from the floor (43 percent).