One more collapse for crumbling Syracuse

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Mar 5, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Buddy Boeheim (35) is pressured by Miami (Fl) Hurricanes forward Sam Waardenburg (21) and guard Kameron McGusty (23) in the first half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time this season, Syracuse gave up an 18-point lead to Miami, this time dropping a 75-72 game at home to close both teams’ schedules. The Orange (15-16, 9-11 ACC) held a 44-26 lead less than two-and-a-half minutes into the second half, but gave it all back to the Hurricanes (22-9, 14-6), including a ten-point advantage in the last two-and-a-half minutes.

On a day when he scored 30 points to claim the ACC scoring title, Buddy Boeheim coaxed a short jumper through the rim for a 70-60 SU lead with 2:29 to play. Miami closed the game with a 15-2 run, scoring on each of their final seven possessions to make off with the win. Jimmy Boeheim was able to get a three-pointer off before the final horn, but it was short.

The ‘Canes made their comeback by dominating inside the arc, making 26-of-38 (68.4 percent) of their two-point field goal attempts, including 17-of-23 (73.9 percent) in the second half. That more than offset their woeful 3-of-18 effort from outside the three-point line. In comparison, Syracuse went 11-of-25 from three, but just 9-of-35 (25.7 percent) on two-point attempts.

The guests notched the first five points, but the Orange got going from long range, as Buddy Boeheim hit twice from deep and Cole Swider added another as part of an 11-0 run to take the lead. SU nudged the margin out to as many as eight points several times, but Miami scrapped back within 26-22 with a little over five minutes left in the first half.

The Orange defense stiffened then, holding the Hurricanes without a field goal for nearly five minutes. Meanwhile, Buddy Boeheim scored eight straight SU points and Joe Girard III tacked on a three for an 11-1 run. Only a late three-point play pulled Miami within 37-26 at the break.

Syracuse tacked on the first seven markers after the break to stretch their lead to 44-26, but the UM full court press made life difficult for the Orange, enabling them to score 13 straight points to pull within five less than six minutes into the second half.

» Related: Syracuse loses steam in final minutes, bows to Notre Dame

The ‘Canes drew within three, but SU responded with a 7-2 run for some breathing room and a 56-48 lead. After the Orange lead grew to ten points, Miami cut into the margin with six straight markers. SU replied with an 8-2 burst building their lead back to 70-60, but that is when the roof came crashing down, as they missed all three of their shots from the field and turned it over three times as the Hurricanes stormed back for the victory.

Buddy Boeheim had 18 of his 30 points in the first half and finished the regular season with 599 points in 31 games, one more than Wake Forest’s Alonde Williams. Joe Girard III hit four times from deep, finishing with 17 points. Jimmy Boeheim struggled to finish inside, ending the game 4-of-16 from the floor, but had 14 points and nine rebounds.

Jordan Miller topped Miami with 25 points on 10-for-13 shooting from the field and also grabbed 13 rebounds. Kameron McGusty had 19 points for the second time against SU this season while Isaiah Wong added 15. Charlie Moore handed out eight assists to go with his 11 points.

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About Jim Stechschulte 858 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.