College Park, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - It wasn't easy, but the fourth-ranked Syracuse Orange returned to their winning ways Monday night with a 57-55 victory over the Maryland Terrapins.
Tyler Ennis had 20 points and six rebounds for the Orange (26-2, 13-2, ACC), who bounced back from consecutive losses to Boston College and Duke. C.J. Fair added 17 points and nine boards.
Syracuse now trails Virginia by one game for first place in the ACC. The Orange play at Virginia on Saturday.
Seth Allen ended with 22 points for the Terrapins (15-13, 7-8), who have lost three of four. Dez Wells tallied 15 points and seven rebounds.
"It's hard to keep poise. Give credit to Syracuse, their defense is really good," Allen said. "That zone really creates a lot of turnovers because they're so long. I thought we played hard. We could have taken care of the ball better. Defensively, we played pretty good. They made some tough shots. We did what coach said, every shot was contested."
Ennis' jumper with 5:45 to play gave Syracuse a 51-39 lead, but Maryland stormed back.
Allen made a 3-pointer and two free throws around a Trevor Cooney jumper to get the Terrapins within 56-52. After Cooney missed from beyond the arc, Wells connected on a pair of shots from the foul line to make it a two-point contest.
The momentum stayed with Maryland as Jake Layman stole the ball away from Michael Gbinije. Layman missed a layup but came down with his own offensive rebound before being fouled. It was a one-point game after Layman split a pair of free throws with 47.7 seconds to go.
Fair missed a jumper at the other end with the shot clock winding down. Wells grabbed the defensive rebound and the Terrapins were off and running with a chance to take the lead. Baye Moussa Keita prevented Maryland from scoring by blocking Nick Faust's shot.
Cooney made one of two free throws with four seconds remaining to give the Orange a 57-55 edge. Allen's game-ending jumper bounded off the back of the rim.
"We knew the pressure was on [Maryland] because we had the lead," Fair said. "We never felt that we were going to lose because they still had to score. They did a good job attacking at the end, getting to the foul line and cutting the lead down. We were able to withstand that."
Syracuse started the game on an 18-8 run, but the Terrapins scored nine of the next 11 points.
The Orange held onto the lead before taking a 32-24 margin into the locker room.