SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Sophomore Emily Engstler was the player of the game Thursday night as she sank an inbound-pass at the buzzer to send Syracuse (7-6, 1-1 ACC) past No. 8 Florida State (13-1, 2-1 ACC) in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse's 90-89 victory was its first win against a top-10 opponent since a 2016 80-72 victory over No. 3/2 South Carolina in the Elite Eight. The Orange's last buzzer beater was Nov. 23 2018 vs No. 19 DePaul.
.8 on the clock?— 'Cuse Hoops (@CuseWBB) January 3, 2020
Plenty of time. pic.twitter.com/y3uOc17vJc
- Tonight's game was FSU's first loss of the season. The Seminoles hadn't loss a regular season game since Syracuse beat them, 94-88, on Feb. 28, 2019 in Tallahassee.
- Kiara Lewis entered the 500-point club tonight after dropping 21 points. Lewis also surpassed the 200-assist mark.
- Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi scored a jumper in the final minute of the first quarter to reach the 400 point mark of her career. The first jumper of the night from Amaya Finklea-Guity marked her 500th career point.
- Amaya Finklea-Guity hit a new career block mark (four) and finished a jumper away from her first career double-double after grabbing 10 boards.
- Digna Strautmane tied her career block mark too, smacking down four.
- The Orange swatted away 10 shots tonight to surpass their nine-block season mark against West Virginia (Dec. 22).
- Syracuse's first five field goals came from beyond the arc. The Orange didn't score a two-point field goal until eight minutes into the first.
- Gabrielle Cooper shrugged off her two-game scoring slump to finish the day in double digits for the eighth time this season. She finished with 14 points in 45 minutes. Five other 'Cuse players scored in double digits tonight too.
BIG SHOT, BIG SPLASH! pic.twitter.com/UY8mSET9dB— 'Cuse Hoops (@CuseWBB) January 3, 2020
How it happened:
- Syracuse started off hot and held a 10-4 lead four minutes into the game. The Orange kept the pressure on and used a six-point first quarter effort from both Gabrielle Cooper and Digna Strautmane to carry a 26-16 lead into the second quarter.
- The 'Noles used a 7-2 run to start the second and bring the game within two possessions, 28-23. 'Cuse used a 6-0 run of its own to break up the Seminoles' streak and go up 34-23 halfway through the second stanza. FSU didn't stay down for long and used an 14-4 run to cut Syracuse's 11-point lead down to one, 38-37, by halftime.
- A back-and-forth first half was highlighted by 'Cuse finding production from up and down the lineup. Cooper paced the Orange squad with eight points, followed by Emily Engstler, Teisha Hyman, and Strautmane who all had six points. Syracuse as a whole shot just under 43 percent from the field and 30 percent from beyond the arc. Kiah Gillespie's nine points led FSU, followed by Nicki Ekhomu (eight) and Nausia Woolfolk (six).
- Valencia Myers sank a pair of free throws at the start of the third quarter to give Florida State its first lead of the game. That lead lasted just 1:57 before Kiara Lewis hit back-to-back layups to put the Orange up 42-39 and start a 12-4 run that put Syracuse ahead 50-43 halfway through the quarter.
- From there, a big 18-6 push put the 'Noles up 61-56 and set up an exciting fourth quarter. Ekhomu, Gillespie and Woolfolk led FSU with 15, 14 and 10 points, respectively. Cooper was the lone Orange in double digits as the third quarter came to a close.
- A tight fourth featured Syracuse and FSU going neck-and-neck down to the last minute. 'Cuse opened with a 4-2 push to bring the game within four, 63-60, and then continued to stay on the Seminoles' backs and keep the game within six points throughout the quarter. A 5-2 run in the final minute of the fourth put Syracuse down three points to FSU, 81-78, before Strautmane sank a three from way downtown to tie the game at 81 and send it to overtime.
- Hyman put 'Cuse back on top with a pair of free throws to start overtime. The 'Noles then hit two jumpers to retake the lead before Lewis sank both chances from the charity stripe to tie things at 85. The point-for-point play continued down to the final second as Gillespie threw in a layup with less than a minute left on the clock to put FSU up 89-88. With 0.8 on the clock, Hyman tossed a perfectly placed sideline pass to Engstler under the basket, the sophomore calmly throwing it in to win the game.
Syracuse returns to the hardwood Sunday to host NCAA Tournament runner up Notre Dame for Girl Scouts Day in the Carrier Dome. Tip off on the ACC Network is scheduled for 4 p.m.