Syracuse lets opportunity, and Wake Forest, slip past

Girard
Joe Girard III grabs his neck during a break in the action. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

Once again, Syracuse could not hold onto an early lead, this time owning a seven-point advantage in the first half and one point better in the second session, eventually dropping a 77-74 game in overtime at Wake Forest on Saturday.

This time, the Orange (7-8, 1-3 ACC) rallied late to take the lead, but allowed the Demon Deacons (13-3, 3-2) to force the extra session. SU drew first blood in overtime with a jump shot from Cole Swider, but Wake scored the next six points and held off a rally for the win as the guests missed their final seven field goal attempts.

That shooting slump was the third-longest streak of the game for Syracuse, as they missed nine straight shots late in the first and had another run of eight consecutive misses in the second half. The Orange shot 36 percent in the game, including just 27.6 percent from long range. Buddy Boeheim (5-for-20) and Joe Girard III (3-for-12) both made just 25 percent of their attempts while Benny Williams was just 2-of-7, missing his last four tries.

SU opened the scoring in the game and never allowed the Deacons to pull in front until the final 80 seconds of the opening half. A Symir Torrence basket gave Syracuse their biggest lead of the first session at 30-23 with under seven minutes left in the half.

Wake Forest fought back, running off ten straight points in a four-minute span, flipping a 34-28 deficit into a four-point lead. Girard halved that gap on the last Orange possession, clipping the Demon Deacon edge to 38-36 at half.

Jimmy Boeheim and Jesse Edwards combined for a 9-0 run early in the second half to stake SU to a 49-41 lead just over five minutes into the second half. Wake immediately replied with the next dozen points to rebuild their four-point lead.

The Deacs held the lead most of the remainder of regulation, but Syracuse went in front twice in the final three minutes, including grabbing a two-point lead on a three-point-play by Jimmy Boeheim with 1:02 on the clock. The Orange got one stop, but not a second, as a dunk by Wake’s Dallas Walton sent the game to overtime at 69 a side.

Swider hit a turnaround jumper to get SU an early lead in the extra period, but the Demon Deacons scored on their next three trips to take a 75-71 lead. Buddy Boeheim made a pair of foul shots, then neither team scored for over two-and-a-half minutes until Frank Anselem made a free throw to draw Syracuse within one.

» Related: Syracuse loses in overtime to Wake Forest

The Orange were forced to foul and Alondes Williams made a pair, stretching the Wake Forest lead to three. Buddy Boeheim missed a three and Cole Swider chased down the board, but his shot attempt came after the buzzer.

Jimmy Boeheim led the way for the Orange with 21 points. Despite his rough shooting day, Buddy Boeheim added 17 points. Joe Girard III added a dozen points to go with seven assists while Cole Swider logged his fourth double-double of the campaign with ten points and 14 rebounds.

Alondes Williams had a big game for Wake Forest, topping all scorers with 25 points and grabbing a dozen rebounds. Isaiah Mucius had four three-pointers in the game, finishing with 18 points. Khadim Sy added 13 points while Jake LaRavia helped out with 12.

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About Jim Stechschulte 807 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 NBA.com. He currently resides in Syracuse. Follow him on Twitter @DSafetyGuy.