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FSU loses to Syracuse in regular-season finale

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State desperately needed another signature win to improve its resume and impress the NCAA Tournament selection committee.

The Seminoles were unable to do so in a 74-58 loss to No. 7 Syracuse on Sunday in the regular-season finale.

FSU got a big game from senior Okaro White, the former Clearwater High standout who had 20 points and 11 rebounds, but it wasn't enough. The Seminoles (18-12, 9-9 ACC) likely need to make serious noise in the conference tournament to play their way into the field of 68.

FSU trailed by one with 12:38 left in the game, but Syracuse ran away down the stretch.

"They lost four out of their last five, so, obviously, we knew we were going to get their best shot," senior guard Ian Miller said. "We just have to learn a way to do what we do regardless of what kind of deal the other team's got going on.

"We still showed we can play with anybody. This ACC tournament is going to get real tricky, I think … if we can go up there and make a special run and still make some noise and get where we've got to go."

White posted his fifth double double of the season. Miller had 16 points and Aaron Thomas 14.

The Seminoles struggled to score against Syracuse's zone and were not physical enough to match the Orange inside. Syracuse finished with a 43-24 advantage on the glass.

"Their zone was pretty good," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "It was a challenge for our guys to execute the things we had in their game plan because they kept making adjustments, and that's what their defense does to you."

C.J. Fair scored 15 of his 22 after halftime and led Syracuse (27-4, 14-4) to victory after FSU hung around throughout the first half.

"We saw right away he got it going," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "He had the hot hand. When he gets it, we're going to get him the ball.

"This was his best offensive game probably since Duke" on Feb. 1, when Fair scored 28 in a 91-89 overtime win.

FSU loses to Syracuse in regular-season finale 03/09/14 [Last modified: Sunday, March 9, 2014 11:46pm]
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