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Andrew White III’s clutch shooting caps Syracuse win

Andrew White III found his stroke early and it never slowed down.

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Syracuse
Andrew White III put on a show for those in attendance.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

All it takes is one, and if that one falls, Andrew White III could explode for a night like this. That one three fell at two minutes and 14 seconds into the game, and from then on White was electrifying the Dome. The senior finished with a game-high 27 points on 5-for-11 shooting from three as the Syracuse Orange closed out the Wake Forest Demon Deacons with an 81-76 win.

White is commonly SU’s go-to guy in the first half as his shooting sets the mood for the Orange — tonight Syracuse was grateful for his barrage of threes. His hot shooting got the other players going as Tyler Lydon and Taurean Thompson combined for 33 points of their own, too.

White found open looks off the dribble, but his main weapon tonight was his deadly catch-and-shoot three. All it takes is one second of hesitation from a defender for White to terrorize the defense with his picture-perfect form. He didn’t just settle for threes against Wake Forest either, as he hit all 10 of his free throw attempts, a season-high in both attempts and makes.

White’s hot hand allowed the the other perimeter players to penetrate the lane with ease as his defender was busy worrying about the former’s shooting ability. Once the ball got inside to Lydon or Thompson, it seemed as if the Demon Deacons had no answer. Thompson was crafty throughout, using his size and soft touch to score at will.

The extra pass was a key to tonight’s win, as multiple open looks were passed up, leading to an even better shot. White was lucky enough to find himself on the receiving end of that “better shot” as his three with 1:23 remaining in the game turned out to be the game-winner. It was no surprise that White would hit the shot as he caught, then shot — as locked in as he’s ever been in an Orange uniform.

He’s found himself in clutch situations in the few close games there have been this season; a marquee moment being his game tying three against UConn. That game didn’t end up going in Syracuse’s favor, but his ability to come through when it matters most is significant if the Orange find themselves in that situation again.

The second half was the more successful half for the Orange as their offense looked more crisp and settled. The ball was moving and the guards were penetrating allowing shooters and bigs to get loose for open shots.

Orange fans, thank Andrew White III. It has been a pleasure to watch him knock down three after three this season. Tonight was extra special as his hot hand got even hotter when it mattered most. If he can keep this activity going, Syracuse may be able to shock some of the top teams in the ACC as the season comes to a close.