A quick take on Syracuse’s 81-76 win against Wake Forest on Tuesday evening at the Carrier Dome:
WHAT HAPPENED: With the score tied at 68 with 1:15 left, John Gillon drove the lane, and the ball eventually made its way to Andrew White, who drilled a 3-pointer to give SU a 71-68 lead. Syracuse never reliquished the lead after that, and clutch free throw shooting from White, Tyler Lydon and Taurean Thompson evened the Orange’s ACC record at .500.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse got a win its desperately needed, and did it in a way it hasn’t done all season – with a late rally. The Orange trailed 55-47 with just over 10 minutes to go, and most times this season, that would’ve spelled the end for this team. But in a rare display of resiliency, the Orange mounted a furious rally, taking a 67-61 lead with 4:25 left. There were many factors for the run, but one that stuck out was SU’s effort on the boards. Going into halftime, the Orange were -10 on the glass, but Syracuse was +5 in that category in the second half. And in another rare way of winning for the Orange, free throws actually played into SU’s favor. White and Lydon calmly sank several key free throws in the final seconds of the game, and are among the leaders in the ACC at 86.4 and 96.4 percent, respectively.
HERO: White surpassed the 1,000 point career mark, tying a season-high 27 points. Meanwhile, after a quiet first half, Thompson finished with 18 points, with his final free throws putting the game out of reach.
ZERO: Tyler Roberson picked up four relatively quick fouls and was a non-factor in the game.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse hosts No. 6 Florida State on 1/28 at noon. TV: ESPN2.