Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
By JOHN KEKISSYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Tyus Battle had a career-high 23 points and Andrew White also had 23 as Syracuse rallied past No. 9 Virginia 66-62 on Saturday, its second win over a ranked team in eight days.
Syracuse (15-9, 7-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) extended its winning streak to four games and remained in the hunt for the postseason. The Orange beat Florida State 82-72 last Saturday.
Kyle Guy had 14 points for Virginia (17-5, 7-3 ACC), which failed to move into a tie with North Carolina for the conference lead.
The victory would have been the 1,000th for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, but the NCAA stripped him of 101 victories as part of punishment handed down in 2015 after a multiyear investigation of the school’s athletic department. That leaves Boeheim at 899, three shy of matching Bob Knight for second place all-time behind Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.
Still, the fans toted placards to honor the moment, rushed the court and saluted him after the final horn, and he waved as he left the court that bears his name.
London Perrantes had 11 points and 11 assists for Virginia.
It was the first meeting between the teams since 10th-seeded Syracuse rallied from a 16-point, second-half deficit to stun the top-seeded Cavaliers 68-62 in the Midwest Regional final of the NCAA Tournament last spring for a berth in the Final Four.
Only four teams had scored more than 60 points against Virginia the entire season, but two of its losses had come against teams Syracuse had beaten, Pittsburgh and No. 15 Florida State.
Syracuse trailed 34-22 at halftime and roared back with a 19-2 run to start the second half to gain its first lead of the game, one it never relinquished.
White’s 3 from the wing tied it, Tyler Lydon followed with another, from the top of the key, and John Gillon’s fastbreak layup off a steal by Lydon gave the Orange a 41-36 lead midway through the half.
Perrantes hit a 3 to move the Cavaliers within 58-56 with 2:09 left, but the Orange hit six straight free throws to secure the victory.
Virginia, which led 34-22 at halftime, entered the game leading the ACC in field goal percentage (49.5) and ranked second in field goal percentage defense (38.5). They held true to form against the Orange, who shot 39.1 percent in the first half and were 3 of 12 from beyond the arc. The Orange had hit 24 of 50 in the previous two games.
BIG PICTUREVirginia: Virginia had 12 assists on 13 baskets in the first half. … The Cavaliers were 7 of 11 on 3-pointers in the first half, with Guy hitting all three he attempted. They finished 12 of 24.
Syracuse: With 5:22 left in the first half, Syracuse trailed 23-19 and Battle and White had 17 of the Orange’s points, while Gillon had attempted only one shot and Lydon two and neither had scored. … In the previous two games Gillon hit 11 of 14 from long range and was 27 of 28 from the free throw line. … Lydon had made 33 of 34 free throws in league play and his 33 straight was one off the Syracuse record held by Mike Lee and Brandon Triche. He missed his first attempt on Saturday.
Virginia entered the game leading the nation in scoring defense, allowing 53.4 points per game, and was second in turnovers per game (9.6). The Cavaliers had eight turnovers in the first half and 15 for the game, one off their high for the season. Syracuse scored 20 points off those miscues.
Virginia hosts No. 6 Louisville on Monday night.
Syracuse travels to play Clemson on Tuesday night.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.