WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The game needed overtime, but ultimately the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team fell by a final score of 77-74 against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The Orange have now lost three straight, falling to 7-8 on the season and 1-3 in ACC play.
The Syracuse offense started off strong as Jesse Edwards scored first for the second straight game. Both Cole Swider and Joe Girard made their first attempts from three and an offensive rebound and put-back from Jimmy Boeheim gave the Orange a 10-8 lead at the first media timeout. Wake Forest also started off hot, which resulted in Syracuse moving from its 2-3 zone to the 1-1-3 zone in the early going.
With both defenses not providing much resistance, both teams got going from outside. Syracuse started 4-4 from 3-point land while Wake was 4-7. Syracuse led 18-16 at the second media timeout.
Benny Williams was the first substitute of the game for Jim Boeheim, who replaced Jimmy. Slowly but surely, he’s getting more comfortable out there. Foul trouble continued to plague Edwards, who picked up his first foul at the 10:53 mark on an admittedly questionable whistle after an Isaiah Mucius floater attempt.
Frank Anselem checked in for Edwards after not playing the previous game against Miami. Edwards checked back into the game at the 9:06 mark, only to pick up his second foul 13 seconds later 70 feet from the opponent’s basket. Boeheim once again replaced him and went small with Jimmy at center. Wake went inside and scored right away.
Syracuse got some unexpected bench scoring as Williams made a pair of baseline jumpers, one on the right side of the floor and the other on the left. Symir Torrence got involved in the coring column with a floater as Syracuse opened its largest lead at 30-23.
Edwards picked up his third foul at 3:47 with the Orange leading 34-28. Without having to worry about the Netherlands big man, Wake went on a 10-2 run to close the half. Syracuse wouldn’t score in that stretch until a Girard floater found the bottom of the net on the final offensive play of the half.
As such, Wake went into the break with a 38-36 lead. Girard led Syracuse with 11 points on 3-5 shooting in the first 20 minutes while Buddy Boeheim had 8 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Wake’s Isaiah Mucius scored 16 points on 4-10 shooting from range.
Syracuse came out of the break focused on the defensive end, forcing Wake to use the entire shot-clock on its two of its first three possessions. On the other side of the floor, Swider curled to the rim for an open lay while Jimmy ran the floor and received a bounce pass from brother Buddy to give the Orange the lead back 40-38.
After an Alondes Williams corner three, Syracuse responded with a 9-0 run behind Jimmy Boeheim and Edwards. The older Boeheim brother made a tough floater inside followed by a three while Edwards ran the floor twice — both off a pair of steals by him — as the first time down resulted in a dunk, the second a layup and an and-one.
Wake answered the run by scoring 12 straight points during a stretch where Edwards picked up his fourth foul at the 12:36 mark. Anselem replaced him momentarily, but Boeheim inserted Edwards back into the game with over 10 minutes left.
Syracuse was able to reclaim the lead after a Jimmy Boeheim extra pass returned the favor to Buddy for an open triple to make it 54-53. But Edwards fouled out at the 9:02 mark after a Girard turnover. It was the eighth time the big man fouled out this season, including his fourth straight.
Syracuse went small-ball the rest of the way with Jimmy at center and couldn’t reclaim the lead until the final two minutes. The Orange fought to keep it close as the older Boeheim brother hit an open 3-pointer from the top of the key to cut Wake’s lead to 62-61. Later, a Swider corner triple cut it to one with 3:48 to go. Finally, Buddy gave the lead back to Syracuse on a floater with two minutes to play, but two free throws by Dallas Walton gave it back to Wake.
Then Jimmy Boeheim gave Syracuse the lead back on an and-one. He went to the line and made the free throw — a place where he’s struggled recently — to make it 69-67. With 11 seconds left, Wake’s Mucius stepped out of bounds near his team’s sideline to give the ball to Syracuse.
The Orange were forced to inbound the ball twice as Wake only had five team fouls (players don’t go to the free throw line until seven team fouls are committed in a half) and on the second attempt, turned it back over to the Deacons, setting the stage for overtime.
Overtime in Winston-Salem. Dallas Walton dunks to tie the score at 69. pic.twitter.com/IUQ1esOv30— James Szuba (@JamesSzuba) January 8, 2022
In the extra period, Swider scored first but the defense struggled to get stops as Wake Forest opened a four point lead. Anselem came back in for the first time since Edwards fouled out. He forced a jump ball on his first defensive possession. A pair of Buddy free throws got Syracuse back to within two.
With under a minute left, Anselem went to the line with a chance to tie the game but split a pair. Syracuse was forced to foul and Williams put the Deacons up three. Syracuse had two desperation 3s in the final stand, but both were off the mark as Syracuse fell for third straight game.
Syracuse returns home to take on Pittsburgh this Tuesday. That game tips from the Carrier Dome at 7 p.m. ET and airs on ESPNU.