Saturday night, Syracuse jumped all over Wake Forest at the start of the second half, rolling off a 30-8 burst in under ten minutes to grab a stranglehold on what would be a 94-72 home win. The Orange (10-11, 4-6 ACC) forced eight turnovers in that stretch, keying an offensive outburst of 55 second half points marked by 62.2 percent shooting from the field.
The Demon Deacons (17-5, 7-4) simply got caught in an avalanche, as SU’s solid defense fueled their offense, which in turn kept them active on defense. The home crowd approved, giving even more juice to Syracuse.
The Orange were sharp on offense throughout the game, shooting 57.1 percent overall and 52.6 percent from deep. Buddy Boeheim was the leading man, hitting 8-of-12 shots and three treys in the second half as he poured in 19 of his game-high 30 points after the break. Boeheim also handed out seven assists in the game.
SU’s primary advantage in the box score was in turnovers, forcing 17 by the Deacs while committing just five miscues of their own. Aside from that, Syracuse was rather pedestrian on defense, permitting Wake to shoot 48.2 percent from the field including 11 three-pointers at a 42.3 percent clip.
The Orange held an early 7-3 lead, but the Demon Deacons responded, ripping off 11 straight points for a 16-9 lead less than seven minutes into the action. SU chipped the lead down to two at one point, then later used a 12-4 run capped by a pair of Buddy Boeheim treys to grab a 32-31 edge.
Wake jumped right back in front and held a 42-39 lead at half. Syracuse got jumpers from Joe Girard III and Cole Swider to go back on top to start the second session. The Demon Deacons got a three, but Boeheim scored the next eight points to put the Orange in front for good.
Wake Forest got a jumper to stop the bleeding, but SU went for the kill, ripping off an 18-3 run to grab a 69-50 lead before the midpoint of the half and making the remainder of the game academic. Jesse Edwards and Swider each had six points in the run, the latter finishing the burst with an emotional dunk that forced the guests to take a time out while the home fans reveled in the moment.
Cole Swider supported Buddy Boeheim with his biggest night in three-and-a-half weeks, pouring in 13 of his 18 points after the break. Swider’s jump shot was on, as he hit 8-of-11 attempts from the field. Joe Girard III added 13 points and Jesse Edwards also reached double figures, adding a dozen points.
Daivien Williamson had a big night in defeat for the Demon Deacons, scoring 17 of his 27 points in the first half. He hit 5-of-8 threes on the night. Damari Monsanto was the only other Wake player in double figures, hitting 4-of-6 threes for 12 points. Alondes Williams, who was a force in the first game between the two schools, went through a rough night, finishing with eight points, but six turnovers.