After losing its last three games, the Syracuse Orange hosted the Duke Blue Devils from the Carrier Dome in a seemingly must-win game for the former team. With an ebullient crowd of 30,000-plus, Syracuse once again responded with its back against the wall. It was a typical Cardiac ‘Cuse affair as Syracuse edged out a close 78-75 win on a John Gillon buzzer-beating three.
Taurean Thompson got things started off early for Syracuse but Duke was able to respond on the offensive end. The Blue Devils hit the offensive glass against the 2-3 zone and capitalized with second-chance efforts. Gillon scored 7 points and dished out 3 dimes in the first half, but Jason Tatum stole the show with a first half double-double. As such, Syracuse went into intermission trailing 33-25.
Syracuse came out of the second half playing better basketball and tied the game 47-all around the 13 minute mark. Simply put, Syracuse gonna Syracuse. Duke wouldn’t go quietly, however and battled back to regain the lead on a Tatum three pointer mid-way through the second.
The rest of the half was a seesaw affair with Duke and Syracuse trading baskets and exchanging leads. Knotted at 75, Duke had a chance to take the lead with under 40 seconds remaining but missed on its final possession. Syracuse got the rebound, passed the ball to Gillon who rushed up the court, pulled up from deep and buried a three at the buzzer to win the game 78-75.
He banked it, but we’ll take it any way we can get it.
Gillon led the way for Syracuse with 26 points and 6 assists. Tyus Battle stepped up big in the second half and concluded his night 18 points. Thompson and Lydon combined for 22 points and 13 boards while Andrew White added 7.
Syracuse finished the night shooting 53.2 percent from the floor and 54.5 percent from distance. Syracuse also shot an astounding 22-25 from the charity stripe.
Syracuse now moves to 17-12 on the season and 9-7 in the conference. SU now travels to Louisville to take on the Cardinals on Sunday. That game tips off at 2 pm from the KFC Yum! Center and will air on CBS.