Crumbling Syracuse collapses again against Miami

Jan 5, 2022; Coral Gables, Florida, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Joseph Girard III (11) and Miami Hurricanes guard Wooga Poplar (55) battle for a loose ball during the first half at Watsco Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse held an 18-point lead late in the first half, but needed only six minutes to give it all away before rallying late and eventually falling to Miami on the road, 88-87. The Orange (7-7, 1-2 ACC) grabbed a 44-26 lead on a Joe Girard III three, but gave up the last four points of the opening half, then six straight three-pointers in five minutes and change after halftime to the Hurricanes (12-3, 4-0).

The two squads handed the lead back and forth a couple of times before Miami took it for good on a pair of free throws with just over 12 minutes to play. Those foul shots started a run of nine straight points by the ‘Canes, who took their biggest lead of the night at 63-55 and never gave up control.

The loss came on a night where SU shot 17-of-32 from long range. Syracuse offset that sharpshooting mark by committing 19 turnovers and getting pummeled inside in the second half. The Hurricanes shot 38 percent inside the arc in the first half, but were 10-of-14 on two-point field goal attempts after halftime.

The Orange grabbed an early 17-8 lead after rolling up ten straight points. Miami cut the lead to four on their next two possessions, but SU responded with a 14-2 burst to open up a 31-15 lead with under six minutes to play in the opening half. Joe Girard III had a pair of treys in the streak while Cole Swider and Benny Williams also connected from long range.

Girard added his fourth triple of the opening half with just under a minute to play, but Miami started their comeback with a pair of foul shots, then converting a steal into a basket just before the break. The ‘Canes completed their comeback as Syracuse went 0-for-4 from the field and added three turnovers while going through a five-plus minute offensive slump.

» Related: Syracuse struggles in second half in loss to Miami

Joe Girard III blistered the nets from long range, hitting 7-of-12 threes en route to a game high 26 points. Jesse Edwards had one of his most productive nights for SU, finishing with 22 points, eight rebounds, and seven blocked shots. Cole Swider hit 6-of-9 from long range as he finished with 20 points.

Charlie Moore paced the Hurricanes with 25 points, including hitting most of his six three-pointers from a couple steps beyond the arc. Kameron McGusty had 19 points while Isaiah Wong chipped in with 14. Jordan Miller added 11 points and also collected six steals.

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About Jim Stechschulte 894 Articles
A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by He currently resides in Syracuse.