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Notre Dame 79, Syracuse 69: Orange lose hard fought battle after poor second half shooting

Jimmy Boeheim’s Syracuse career high of 27 wasn't enough to pull out a win against the Fighting Irish.

NCAA Basketball: Notre Dame at Wake Forest Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

After winning back-to-back games, the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball fell to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 79-69 in a hard-fought battle Wednesday night.

Jimmy Boeheim had a season-high 27 points on 10-18 shooting with 7 rebounds but outside of his brother and Swider, Syracuse fought but couldn't get their shots to fall in a back and fourth offensive game.

Right off the opening tip, Syracuse got straight to shooting. The Orange nor the Fighting Irish could get on the board for the first 90 seconds of the game until Jimmy Boeheim hit a post hook in the paint to get the first points on the board for either team.

Shortly after Buddy Boeheim started finding his shot, after a rough outing shooting the ball Monday, for his first three of the night, Syracuse up 5-2.

Bourama Sidibe got checked in after only four minutes for Frank Anselem following Paul Atkinson Jr. getting fouled by Jimmy Boeheim. Both teams went back and forth scoring for a minute and a half. After Wesley hit a three for the Irish, Jimmy Boeheim got fouled on an attempted lay-up, going 1-2 from the stripe, and then hit a driving lay-up on Syracuse’s next possession to give the Orange a 16-14 lead with 12:35 left in the half.

Cormac Ryan hit a turnaround jumper to tie the game up with Syracuse, until Cole Swider hit his second three of the game, shooting 2-2 from distance through nearly 10 minutes of play. With the game now tied 19-19 coming out of the timeout following a second-chance three-pointer drained in by Nate Laszewski, both teams were firing.

Atkinson took the lead for the Irish following a close shot to the basket only for Buddy Boeheim on the next possession to drain a shot of his own. Buddy came back after another Irish bucket by connecting on a mid-range jumper of his own to tie the game 23-23.

Buddy kept making big buckets early in this game connecting on another pull-up jumper for his 12th point of the game, shooting 5-7 from the field and 1-3 from distance through 11:30 played.

Symir Torrence got checked into the game following an Irish shot clock violation for Joe Girard, sinking a floater high off the glass to take a 27-23 lead heading into Syracuse's second timeout of the game with 7:30 remaining in the half on four straight shots from Cuse.

The Irish hit a second chance three with two seconds left on the shot clock followed by Dane Goodwin pull up jumper to take the lead only for Jimmy Boeheim to score 5 straight points to take a 32-28 lead.

Following the completion of a three-point play from Prentiss Hubb, Syracuse’s lead was cut to one. Following a personal foul on the Irish from Jimmy Boeheim Syracuse, another timeout was called with 3:42 remaining in the half.

Following Atkinson Jr. shooting 1-2 from the stripe, Joe Girard hit a mid-range jumper off his own dribble only until Atkinson sunk a lay-up through contact with the chance for one more. After making his free throw, Jimmy made a pull-up jumper followed by a mean Atkinson dunk to get back in the lead. Buddy made a free throw to tie the game until Ryan connected on a jumper off the dribble to take a two-point lead, 39-37 with 1:20 remaining. The half ended on a Buddy Boeheim missed mid-range jumper with Syracuse trailing 42-38.

Syracuse was led by the combined scoring effort of the Boeheim brothers in the first half. They shot for a combined 28 points on 10-18 shooting from the field and 2-7 from distance. As a team, the Orange shot 50% on 14-28 from the field and 36.4% on 4-11 shots from three.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The back and forth offensive continued right out of halftime, with Goodwin draining a corner three followed by Jimmy connecting on a pull-up jumper inside the arc, Syracuse trailing 45-40.

Cole Swider then made a second-chance three-pointer, his third of the game to put the Orange within two. Buddy tied it up with another turnaround jumper to tie the game up, Syracuse is now on a 7-0 run since the Irish’s three to open up the half.

Syracuse took a 47-45 lead following a Jimmy lay-up, forcing the Irish into their first timeout of the half with 15:58 remaining in the game.

After the Irish hit a three right out of the timeout, Syracuse missed on three straight possessions and the Irish made two free throws from Ryan and a Laszewski corner three, to take a 53-47 lead before Syracuse called a timeout with 13:48 left in the game.

Syracuse continued to find their shot after the timeout and the Irish kept capitalizing. Ryan hit a jumper followed by Laszewski connecting on his fifth three of the game to take a 10 point lead. After Syracuse turned the ball over for the fifth time tonight, Joe Girard fouled out of frustration leading to another Cuse timeout, Syracuse trailing 58-47 with 11:59 remaining.

A made lay-up from Atkinson put the Irish up 12, followed by Syracuse continuing to miss shots struggling to create any offense.

Jimmy Boeheim then hit a jumper to revive the offense that has struggled the whole second half for his 21st point of the game. Buddy followed that up with a second chance three to bring the Irish’s lead within single digits. Laszewski then connected on a lay-up followed by another Buddy turn around jumper, Syracuse still trailing 55-62 with 7:10 left in the game heading into a timeout from the Irish.

Coming out of the timeout, Jimmy connected on a step-back jumper to cut the Irish’s lead to five until Ryan connected on a three to bring their lead to 8.

Torrence made a couple of nice plays down the stretch — including a tough finish and find to Sidibe down low — and Syracuse trailed 65-63 with four minutes left in the contest.

Coming out of the timeout, Hubb connected on three point bomb which prompted a quick 5-0 run that forced Syracuse to play catch up the rest of the way. the Irish made free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach.

Syracuse struggled to score outside Swider and the Boeheim brothers, who combined for 48 out of Syracuse’s 69 team points. Jimmy scored a career-high of 27 points on 10-18 shooting along with 7 defensive rebounds. Buddy scored 20 on 8-17 shooting from the field and 2-9 from distance while Swider dropped 11 on 4-10 shooting from the field and 3-5 from distance to go along with six rebounds.

Next Up:

Syracuse next up faces the Duke University Blue Devils this Saturday, February 26th inside the Dome at 6 P.M. EST.