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Andrew White has best two-game stretch of season when Syracuse needed it most

The kid’s got onions.

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Syracuse
Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White III (3) shoots the ball against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the second half at the Carrier Dome. The Orange won 81-76.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

With the Syracuse Orange’s collective back to the wall, Andrew White III came to the rescue.

Twice.

White scored a season-high 27 points on Tuesday, which helped the Orange knock off Wake Forest at home, 81-76. SU overcame an eight-point second-half deficit to earn its 12th win of the season.

In Saturday’s win over the Florida State Seminoles, White was equally as good. He scored a game-high 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the floor, including four 3-pointers.

He also grabbed nine rebounds against a Florida State team that has owned the glass all season long — with the exception of its game against North Carolina.

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the type of player Syracuse fans expected when White announced he would attend SU for his fifth year.

A kid who can score against anyone - and in high volume - and someone who will help out on the glass given his 6-foot-7 stature.

He did just that on Saturday, and it may have the Orange back on track for a postseason stretch run in the coming weeks.

Florida State was Syracuse’s second-best opponent its faced so far this season, behind North Carolina. And now that the Orange have a signature win, the confidence will only grow from here.

One knock on White early in the season was his one-dimensional type play, and his disappearance down the stretch in the second half. He debunked both those theories in these last two games, as he continued to knock down clutch threes when the Orange were most desperate for them.

One stat that has gone under the radar: White is 14-of-14 from the charity stripe in SU’s last two wins.

With the Orange up 18 at half, White saved his best play for the second — when FSU managed to battle back. He scored 11 points and hit three of is four 3-pointers down the stretch, which continued to give SU breathing room.

White’s defense has been noticeably better the last few games, too. He recorded four steals on Saturday against Florida State, which tied his season-high.

A versatile Andrew White III makes Syracuse a better team, and that could make the Orange a scary team as the season comes to a close.