The SFA Lumberjacks faced a tough challenge in their first NCAA tournament appearance.
The 14th seeded Lumberjacks matched up against the third seed Syracuse.
Syracuse's Jonny Flynn scored 16 points, Rick Jackson and Arinze Onuaku each added 12 and the Orange beat the Lumberjacks 59-44 Friday morning in Miami.
Benson Akpan led Stephen F. Austin (24-8) with 12 points. The Southland Conference champion Lumberjacks missed 12 of their first 13 shots, plus started 0-for-15 from 3-point range.
The Orange will meet either Arizona State or Temple in Sunday's second round.
All week long, SFA head coach Danny Kaspar said he was worried his team would be overwhelmed. Early in the game it appeared first time jitters got the best of the Lumberjacks.
"I think there was a bad case of the shakes with some of us," Coach Kaspar said. "Even when that settled down, we could not get it going."
"I missed some easy layups and jumpshots," senior Josh Alexander said. "They were giving us the jumpshots. We had to stand there and hit them, in the first couple of minutes of the game, we just couldn't hit."
"We are a bigger and stronger team," Syracuse post Paul Harris said.
"You just tell them that you are proud of them, that you love them and care for them, and thank you and that is what was said," Coach Kaspar explained. "They have nothing to be ashamed of. They have done a lot of great things for Stephen F. Austin men's basketball and for Stephen F. Austin State University."
The Lumberjacks completed the most successful season in the programs history having won the regular season title, the conference tournament championship and making it to the NCAA tournament.
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