A quick take on Syracuse’s 62-61 win over Notre Dame to open up ACC play:
WHAT HAPPENED: After Judah Mintz put Syracuse up 62-61 with 13 seconds left, Syracuse burned three remaining fouls before hitting the bonus limit. With 2 seconds to go, Dane Goodwin’s potential game-winning shot missed, and the Orange escaped with a coveted ACC road win. The entire game was a see-saw affair, with neither team leading by more than five points. That came after a Joe Girard layup put the Orange up 60-55 with 2:32 to go. Mintz scored the go-ahead basket on a well-designed inbounds play, taking a pass and screen from Edwards, and rolling all the way to the cup for the lay-up.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse snapped its three game losing streak, and rebounded well after being thumped by No. 16 Illinois on Tuesday, 73-44, in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge. They did it by leaning on its ‘Big 3’ of Mintz, Girard and Jesse Edwards. The Orange, which inexplicably did not featured Edwards on offense during the losing streak, made it an emphasis to get him more involved, and he responded with 22 points and 14 rebounds, taking 15 shots (second next to Girard). For Girard’s part, though he was once again off from downtown (2-10), he was also 7-8 inside the arc for 20 points. Mintz chipped in 9.
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HERO: Edwards is the obvious choice here, but let’s not forget about the contributions of John Bol Ajak (2 points, 4 assists) and Justin Taylor (5 points, 4 rebounds), who added valuable contributions off the bench. Ajak closed out on Goodwin’s potential game-winning shot, playing a factor in him missing. Goodwin, though he missed the potential game-winner, led Notre Dame with 16 points.
ZERO: Notre Dame shot better from beyond the arc (11-33) but also struggled to get quality looks against the 2-3 zone, shooting 38.3 percent overall compared to SU’s 48.3 percent. Notably, Notre Dame struggled to force turnovers, as SU coughed up the ball just 4 times on the afternoon.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse returns home to host Oakland at the JMA Wireless Dome on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. TV: ACC Network.
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