This game made me so happy, encouraged, and excited about the fact that this Wake Forest team could play a tough team on the road and compete, while also seemingly crushing all my hopes and dreams in the fact that it was another close game that the Deacs could have won, but didn't. This game was an emotional roller coaster.
The plan of attack in this one was obviously to beat the zone of Syracuse to get open looks. And one of the best ways to beat the zone is to have a guy that goes unconscious and can't miss. Enter Dinos Mitoglou.
Mitoglou went off in this game, scoring a career high 26 points on 10-13 shooting, including 4-7 from downtown. Most of these shots for Mitoglou were open jumpers along the baseline, something Manning obviously thought the Deacs could take advantage of against the zone.
Codi Miller-McIntyre also had a great game, especially on fastbreaks and drives against the zone.
CMM finished the game with 24 points on 9-17 shooting and added 6 rebound, 6 assists and this ridiculously deep 3 pointer at the end of the first half.
For the Syracuse offense, Rakeem Christmas and Trevor Cooney did most of the damage.
Trevor Cooney followed his 28 point outing against FSU with another great game. He finished with 21 points on 6-17 shooting including 5-12 from the 3-point line.
Rakeem Christmas pretty much did whatever he wanted inside.
Christmas finished with a game-high 35 points, and seemed nearly unstoppable in the paint.
The game was back-and-forth late in the second half, nefore Syracuse finally got up by 3 with under 30 seconds to go. Enter Cornelius Hudson
Hudson was 0-5 from the 3-point line prior to this shot, and still had no second thoughts about putting it up. Here's something I love about this team. A freshman having a pretty awful night shooting isn't scared to take a crucial shot trailing in the late stages of the game. This is the second game this season where a freshman has hit a huge 3 late in the game (Mitoglou at Richmond). I also just love the way he holds his follow through on this shot. This shot would send the game to OT.
In OT, the Deacs find themselves down by 5 with just 8 seconds left, when Codi Miller-McIntyre drained another deep 3 to cut the lead to 2.
Cooney missed 1 of the free throws on the ensuing Syracuse possessions, leaving the Deacs down by 3 with 2 seconds remaining. Cornelius Hudson threw up a half court shot as time expired that hit off the backboard, rolled around the rim, and came out.
Yes, this game was an emotional roller coaster. And that can mean only 1 thing, Wake Forest basketball is back.