The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team came close to getting a big win but ultimately fell in overtime to the North Carolina Tar Heels by a score of 88-79 in overtime at the Dean E. Smith Center
This game started off as a dominant one for the Orange in the first half, shooting the ball above 50% from the field and from distance on fewer shot attempts from the Tar Heels. However, a tight second half with some late-game heroics from Caleb Love sent this game to overtime where Syracuse was outscored 15-6 by the Tar Heels to close out the game
Cole Swider led Syracuse in scoring despite the bitter loss collecting a career-high of 36 points on 14-21 shooting, 7-11 from 3. Buddy Boeheim had 14 points and 7 rebounds while Jimmy Boeheim added 10. Brady Manek led UNC with 22 points while Caleb Love came off the bench to add 21. Armando Bacot had 17 points and 18 rebounds.
Following the opening tip, Syracuse collected nine straight points in the opening two minutes of the contest. Syracuse’s hot shooting wouldn't stop there though. The Orange ended up starting the game shooting a 6-7 while leading the Tar Heels 15-8 with 16:00 left to play.
Swider connected on 3-3 from the field and 2-2 from distance while Girard and the Boeheim brothers scored a bucket each.
After Syracuse called their first timeout of the game, the Tar Heel’s knocked down two three-pointers to cut the Orange’s lead to 17-14. After an offensive foul was called on Girard, the Syracuse defense crowded the paint forcing two missed shots allowing a Swider transition three for his third basket from a distance tonight and his 11th point.
Following some back and forth missed shots from both teams, Another pair of three-pointers from the Tar Heels brought them within two, resulting in Jim Boeheim calling Syracuse’s second timeout of the game leading the Tar Heel’s 22-20 with 11:06 left to play in the first half.
Following the timeout, UNC went on a 4-1 scoring run to tie the game up 24-24. Both teams played some lockdown defense forcing each other into non-ideal shot selections keeping the game intense for around two minutes until Syracuse called their third timeout of the game, still tied 24-24 with 7:28 left to play.
Following the Orange’s third timeout of the night, they forced a Tar Heel into a trap near the corner of the court resulting in UNC calling their first timeout. Mickey Black then hit a three-pointer as the shot clock expired following the timeout to force a review, but the basket was ultimately waved off by the officials.
Both teams traded back to baskets to bring the score to 26-26, but Swider made a lay-up to put the Orange back in the lead while scoring his 15th point of the game.
UNC then got their first lead of the game following an R.J. Davis three and back-to-back dunks to take a 33-28 leading to a 30-second Orange timeout with 3:54 remaining in the first.
Armondo Bacot coming out of the timeout made a tip-in lay-up to put the Tar Heels up seven until Cole Swider was able to connect on back-to-back three-pointers to bring the game back into reach for the Orange.
Girard was able to make a jumper to bring the game back within three until Caleb Love was able to get a mid-range jumper to roll the right way to put the Tar Heels up five points. The first half ended with the UNC leading 41-36.
Cole Swider led all scorers with 21 first-half points on 8-10 shooting from the field and 5-6 shooting from distance. As a team the Orange got off to a good start in the first half, shooting 55.6% from the field on 15-27 shots and 50% from distance on 6-12 shots.
Coming out of halftime, Buddy Boeheim connected on a three from the top of the arc to bring Syracuse within two points from the Tar Heels. The Orange were then able to tie it up following Girard's first three-pointer of the game.
After two minutes of back and forth from both teams, Swider made another lay-up for his 23rd point of the game followed by a Sidibe tip-in to take a 46-42 lead before the Orange called their first timeout of the half with 16:20 left to play.
Following the first timeout of the half, the Tar Heels were able to make their first field goal of the half after starting 0-7 off a Davis three to bring the Orange’s lead to a mere point.
Jimmy Boeheim was able to connect on consecutive baskets to put the Orange up 5, until the Tar Heels Brady Manek was able to get a three and lay-up to fall, tying the game up 50-50 before Syracuse called their second timeout of the half with 11:54 left in regulation.
9 seconds following Syracuse's timeout, Sidibe was sent to the line trying to connect on a lay-up. After sinking both, Davis sunk yet another three to give the Tar Heels a 53-52 lead.
Syracuse was then able to go on a 4-0 run until Bacot was able to make a transition dunk with contact, connecting on the free-throw and tying the game 56-56 before Syracuse called a 30-second timeout with 9:09 left to play.
Both teams scored two points each following the timeout until Bacot took the lead for the Tar Heels following 1-2 made free throws off a shooting foul.
Swider and Bacot then traded baskets on consecutive possessions until the Orange called a timeout following a Sidibe foul on Love with 6:43 left to play, UNC leading 61-60.
Love sank both free throws coming out of the timeout, but Cole Swider scored five straight points to give the Orange a 65-63 lead. Following another personal foul on Sidibe, Bacot got sent to the line where he sank both to tie the game up at 65.
After a minute of back and forth with no baskets for either team, Buddy Boheim got a mid-range floater to drop for the lead until Manek got a lay-up to fall to tie the game up at 67-67 before Syracuse called another timeout with 3:01 left to play.
Buddy Boeheim sunk two free throws off a Manek personal foul before the timeout for the lead until Love sank a three to regain the lead for the Tar Heels.
Buddy Boeheim on the next possession missed a shot near the basket only for Sidibe to get the tip-in to give the Orange a 71-70 lead with less than 90 seconds remaining before another timeout was called with just 15 seconds left to play.
Syracuse had possession of the ball following a Manek miss, only for Girard to turn the ball over on an inbounds pass to Buddy Boeheim. UNC then called a timeout after passing over half-court with 13.3 remaining in the contest.
7 seconds following the timeout, Love sank a deep three to give the Tar Heels a two-point lead only for Girard to tie the game up at 73 off a fading baseline jumper with 1.4 left to play. the Tar Heels were able to get a shot off from near half-court before the final buzzer sounded but it didn't fall sending this conference battle into overtime.
To start overtime off, the Tar Heels scored eight straight in just over two minutes to take a definitive 81-73 lead before the Orange called a timeout with 2:55 left to play.
Coming out of the timeout, Swider got fouled connecting on 1-2 free throws only for Manek to flush down a dunk. Swider wouldn't stop scoring though, draining his 7th three and scoring his 36th point of the game on the next possession to cut the Heel’s lead to six.
Following a Syracuse defensive stop, Cole Swider put up a shot from distance only for Girard to bobble a ball that would have been an offensive rebound out of bounds to make it Tar Heels ball with 1:34 left to play.
After a personal foul on Love, Swider fouled out of the contest while Love sank both free throws to take an 85-77 lead.
Following two made free-throws from Jimmt Boeheim, Love put the dagger in this game making a scoop lay-up with contact for a successful three-point play after he made his free throw. After some back and forth, the Heels ran out the clock winning the overtime duel 88-79.
Syracuse was led in scoring by a career-high 36 point performance from Cole Swider on 14-21 shots from the field and 7-11 shots from distance. The Boeheim brothers combined for 24 points on 9-25 shooting from the field and 2-9 from three. As a team, Syracuse shot 49.2% from the field and 40% from three on 31-63 and 10-25 shots.
The Syracuse Orange looks to finish out their season this Saturday inside the Dome against the University of Miami Hurricanes at 1 P.M. EST.