Published January 08, 2015
Tallahassee, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - C.J. Fair finished with 22 points and seven rebounds, as No. 7 Syracuse righted the ship with a 74-58 triumph over Florida State in the regular-season finale for both teams on Sunday.
Jerami Grant, who missed Syracuse's last game with a balky back, and Tyler Ennis each netted 16 points, while Rakeem Christmas contributed 12 points and six boards for the Orange (27-4, 14-4 ACC), who had dropped four of their last five games.
"Having Jerami back put everybody in the right place," Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. "We're a completely different team with Jerami Grant. If he wasn't here we wouldn't be happy right now."
Syracuse had already clinched a double-bye into the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament, where they will be seeded second behind Virginia.
Okaro White donated 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Seminoles (18-12, 9-9), who had a three-game win streak halted.
A White jumper had FSU within 47-46 with 12 1/2 minutes left, but Trevor Cooney knocked down consecutive 3-pointers shortly after to spark a 12-2 Syracuse surge.
"We had fought back up until that point, but I thought that was the turning point in the game," FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton said of Cooney's back-to- back triples that ignited the spurt.
Grant capped the burst with a three-point play, giving the Orange a 59-48 advantage with 7:24 to play.
Devon Bookert buried a triple at the other end to get the Seminoles back within eight, but FSU managed just one field goal over the final seven minutes of the game, allowing Syracuse to run away with the victory.
Early on, the Orange raced out to a 10-4 lead behind a triple from Ennis and a three-point play from Grant, but the Seminoles answered with a 12-4 run, capped by six straight from White, to take a two-point lead just past the midway point of the first.
It remained a one-possession game from there until Ennis supplied seven points in a 10-0 Orange outburst that gave the visitors a 31-20 lead with 2:48 left in the half.
FSU fought back and got within six at the break before White followed four straight free throws from Aaron Thomas with a jumper to trim the margin to one with just over 12 1/2 minutes left.
It was the first meeting between the schools on the hardwood since the 1996-97 season ... The Orange lead the all-time series with Florida State, 4-1 ... Fair scored in double digits for the 29th time in 31 games and moved into 15th on the career scoring list, having passed Dave Johnson ... Syracuse shot 48.3 percent from the field and held FSU to 38 percent shooting from the floor.