“As I get older, I keep thinking they’re the best wins,” Jim Boeheim joked after the game. “But they probably really aren’t the best wins. Although, this one kinda feels like it.”
Is it the best win of Boeheim’s career? No, it’s not. Is it up there? Yes.
Thanks to John Gillon’s 26-point performance and his buzzer-beating 3-pointer, the Orange beat No. 10 Duke, 78-75, on Wednesday evening at the Carrier Dome.
“Man, I don’t even know,” John Gillon said after the game when asked where this moment ranks for him this season. “Honestly, man, this is the type of games I dreamed of. I always wanted to play a team like Duke. It just being a situation like that, I always felt like I was an ACC guard and these games were meant for me.”
Over 30,000 fans came out to see Wednesday’s thriller, and it didn’t go unnoticed with the players.
“Man, it’s special. It’s just a special opportunity. I have no words for it, man. I’m just blessed,” Gillon said with a grin.
“I thought it was just a great game,” Boeheim said. “The first half we were to stagnant on offense. We just weren’t getting any movement on offense. We weren’t really attacking. The second half, I thought Tyus just really attacked. He had a stretch there when we were really struggling. He made some unbelievable plays like he did the last game that he was healthy when he had 23.”
Battle, who visibly looked much better tonight, went for 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting. He was able to get to the basket, but also hit a few mid-range jumpers down the stretch that either tied the game, or gave SU the lead.
“For some reason, I knew it was going in when it went up,” Battle said of Gillon’s winner. “I had a feeling it was going in and I just lost it from there.”
What is it about this team?
“We just keep on fighting and battling,” Tyus continued. “We don’t give up and I think that’s what special about this team. We were down in the beginning, but we know we’re a good team.”
“I’m feeling good again,” Battle said about his illness. “It was just a great team win.”
“It was a great basketball game,” Boeheim said. “The fans have been great all year. We’ve had three tough games in a row that were down the wire, and we got one tonight. It was a great win. Now we can go get ready to play an even tougher game this Sunday (at No. 8 Louisville).”
Boeheim continued, “We go as John Gillon goes. When he’s good, we haven’t lost. He was really good tonight.”
John Gillon’s message to the country?
“We can beat anyone, we can beat anyone.”
Syracuse has certainly proved that this season with its third top 10 win of the year on Wednesday. The only problem, the Orange has proven it can lose on any given night.
But for right now, enjoy this win. Since joining the ACC, the Syracuse-Duke “rivalry” is tied 3-3. And four of those games have come down to the last few possessions.