Syracuse holds on to edge Maryland

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. — This time Syracuse got a favorable call — in fact, no call at all — from the referees at the end of the game.

Less than 48 hours after a controversial loss at Duke, the fourth-ranked Orange beat Maryland 57-55 Monday in an Atlantic Coast Conference game before a sellout crowd at the Comcast Center.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Syracuse, which fell out of the top spot in the AP national rankings a few hours before the game.

“It was a big win for us,” said Syracuse guard Tyler Ennis, who scored a team-high 20 points. “Maryland played us tough.”

The Terrapins (15-13, 7-8 ACC) appeared to have a chance to win the game as guard Nick Faust drove to the basket and missed a shot with seven seconds left and the Orange leading 56-55. The fans and the Maryland bench screamed for a foul.

There was no call on the drive, and Syracuse (26-2, 13-2) got the rebound.

Orange guard Trevor Cooney made a free throw with four seconds left to make it 57-55. Maryland called timeout after Cooney missed the second shot, and a running 3-point shot by guard Seth Allen (22 points) hit off the backboard at the buzzer as the Orange escaped with the win.

“I thought Nick got fouled, and the replay showed that,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “It has been that kind of year for us. They didn’t call (the foul).”

When asked about the non-call on the drive by Faust, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim pointed out the Terrapins shot 27 free throws and his team shot six.

“If you want to talk about one play … I will talk about five times” calls were not made on his team’s drive to the basket, he said.

The Terrapins came close to beating nationally ranked Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Duke and now Syracuse this year with no luck.

“We could have won this game,” said Maryland guard Dez Wells, who scored 15 points. “They are a good team. We are a good team.”

The Terrapins, who committed 18 turnovers, trailed by 12 midway through the second half.

“They stuck with us,” Turgeon said of the Maryland fans. “We didn’t give them much to cheer about the first 35 minutes. We just weren’t very good against the zone to be honest with you. We turned it over too much. With that said, I thought our defense in the second half was much better.”

Wells hit two free throws with 54.7 seconds to cut Syracuse’s lead to 56-54. The Orange turned the ball over, and Maryland forward Jake Layman hit one free throw to make it 56-55 with 47.7 seconds left.

The Orange called time with 27.6 seconds left, and Fair missed a shot with 15 seconds to go, setting up Faust’s crucial drive.

Boeheim was ejected in the closing seconds of Saturday’s game at Duke after forward C.J. Fair was called for a charge.

Fair, who is from Baltimore, had 17 points and nine rebounds against Maryland.

The Orange finished with 11 turnovers.

“We have been winning the turnover battle,” Boeheim said. “We made a couple of good plays. I thought it was more they made some bad turnovers. That is what I saw. It was our fourth game in eight days. We had some pretty tough games in there. It is pretty difficult when you play Saturday (and) Monday.”

The Orange return to action Saturday at first-place Virginia.

“We are going to the whirlpool,” Boeheim joked. “We need a couple of days to take it easy. I think they have a great basketball team.”

Boeheim said starting forward Jerami Grant of nearby Bowie, Md., tweaked his back, limiting him to 13 minutes. Grant scored four points.

“I am anticipating he will be fine,” Boeheim said.

NOTES: Maryland plays Sunday at Clemson. … While the Orange played two games in the previous six days, Maryland had not played since winning at home against Wake Forest on Feb. 18. … The game drew a crowd of 17,950 fans to the Comcast Center.