SU wins EA Sports Maui Invitational

The Orange won its third Maui Invitational championship after defeating St. Francis Brooklyn, Minnesota, California and finally Baylor.

The last time Syracuse played in the Maui Invitational, the Orange cruised to a 76-63 victory over Indiana in 1998. This time around, the No. 8/7 Orange (6-0)  won in a similar fashion, beating the  No. 18/17 Baylor Bears (6-1)  in a 74-67 game that saw four SU players scoring in double figures.

But it wasn't an easy path to the Wayne Duke Trophy. The Orange first had to get through St. Francis Brooklyn, Minnesota and California before playing for the championship against Baylor. Oddly enough, the team Syracuse had the hardest trouble beating was St. Francis Brooklyn at home. When Syracuse finally made it to Maui, the Orange cruised past Minnesota and California, winning 75-67 and 92-81, respectively. 

The game versus Baylor was a little more difficult, as the Bears stayed within sight of the Orange lead throughout the entire contest. Going into halftime, the Orange held a 38-30 lead over the Bears, but Baylor bounced back in the second half. With less than 30 seconds remaining in the game and the Orange up only six points, freshman point guard Tyler Ennis stole the ball from Baylor's Ish Wainwright. Trevor Cooney extended the SU lead to 72-64 after two free throws; and although Baylor drew within five points, the Bears missed its final two three-point attempts and SU held on for its third Maui Invitiational Championship.

C.J. Fair, the tournament Most Valuable Player finished with a game-high 24 points and averaged 15.25 points for the whole tournament. Jerami Grant, Tyler Ennis and Trevor Cooney also were instrumental in the Orange's success. In the championship, Grant scored 19, while Ennis and Cooney added 11 points each. Ennis dished out nine assists as well.

The Orange return to the Carrier Dome Dec. 3 to play Indiana in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge. Syracuse defeated the Hoosiers in the 2013 NCAA Tournament on its path to the Final Four.

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