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Matthew Moyer realizes dream in No. 11 seed Syracuse’s 57-52 win over No. 6 seed TCU

first_img Published on March 17, 2018 at 4:05 am Contact Tomer: [email protected] | @tomer_langer Facebook Twitter Google+ DETROIT — Matthew Moyer was in the stands the last time this happened. As a senior in high school he traveled to St. Louis to watch Syracuse, the school he was committed to, play in the NCAA Tournament.Moyer said he dreamed of playing for the Orange since he was little kid. But his SU career has hit snags, turning into a struggle rather than a smooth ride. Moyer got hurt in the preseason last year and eventually redshirted the entire year. He struggled early this season, oftentimes getting chastised by head coach Jim Boeheim during games. He hurt his ankle in a January win over Boston College and lost his starting spot to Marek Dolezaj.With 6:11 left in Friday night’s game, though, Dolezaj fouled out. With Syracuse up by one, Moyer checked in. For the first time in nearly all of 2018, and on the team’s biggest stage, Moyer was the one who needed to help down the stretch. And he did as No. 11 seed Syracuse (22-13, 8-10 Atlantic Coast) held on to beat No. 6 seed TCU (21-12, 9-9 Big 12) on Friday night in Little Caesars Arena. The Orange will move on to play No. 3 seed Michigan State on Sunday.“It was good to go out there and help the team win,” Moyer said. “Help impact the game as much as I could. I’m happy to move on.”Moyer found himself involved right after he subbed in. Frank Howard passed it to Moyer on the baseline. It looked like Moyer was fouled as he was getting into his motion, but no call was made, and he threw the ball high in the air. It missed everything.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThen, after TCU tipped in a ball to cut SU’s three-point lead to one, he missed a free throw. It wasn’t the start Moyer wanted. But he was Syracuse’s only option, and so he was going to stay in.Alexandra Moreo | Senior Staff PhotographerDespite the offensive struggles, Moyer remained active on defense, helping force TCU’s shooters out of their corner looks. He was part of an SU unit that held the Horned Frogs to just 52 points.“Matt did a good job,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “He played good defense and made a foul shot for us.”That foul shot came after Moyer grabbed a defensive rebound with 30 seconds remaining. TCU, down four, missed a free throw and the ball bounced around before Moyer finally secured it and pushed the Orange lead to five.A few minutes before that sequence, with SU still up by just one, Moyer picked up a steal. The Orange scored on its next two possessions, floaters from Tyus Battle and Howard, leading to SU pulling away.“He made hustle plays. He made great defensive plays,” Battle said. “For the limited time he played today, I thought he stepped up huge.”It had been a tumultuous season for Moyer. He missed a few games with an ankle injury after feeling like he’d rushed back from it. His path from dreams in St. Louis to realization in Detroit wasn’t a straight one. But at least he’d made it.“It’s crazy. To be playing here,” Moyer said. “I dreamed of playing here when I was a kid. Just to be here in the moment.“It’s a blessing from God. I’m blessed.” Commentslast_img

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