The Deacs are still looking for their first ever win against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome, as the Wake Forest Men’s Basketball team fell once again in Syracuse by a score of 72-94. While this was a pretty bad loss for Wake, I don’t think we should overreact to the final score. Even with the blowout loss, the Deacs are still 17-5 overall and 7-4 in the ACC.
A tale of two halves would be a bit of an understatement for this one. The defense was not very good early, but other than that, everything looked fine in the first half for Wake Forest. The Deacs scored 42 points in the first half on 16-30 shooting, including 7-15 from beyond the arc, and carried a 3-point lead into the locker room at the break.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure the team ever returned from the locker room after halftime. The Deacs completely fell apart in the second half, scoring just 30 points and turning the ball over 11 times. On the other side of the court, Syracuse went absolutely unconscious from the floor, scoring 55 second half points on 62% shooting, including 55% from the 3-point line. Simply put, the Deacs got outclassed in the second half.
Syracuse got a huge night from senior Buddy Boeheim, who scored 30 points and simply refused to miss, shooting 57% from the field and 6-11 from beyond the arc. In the second half, it didn’t matter if he was wide open or had 2 defenders surrounding him, if he shot, it was going in. The Orange also got a huge game from Cole Swider. Swider finished with 18 points and also had moments where he was just making every shot he threw at the goal. He finished shooting 72% from the field and 2-2 from beyond the arc. It’s pretty hard to stop a team from scoring when they never miss a shot.
The lone bright spot for Wake Forest was senior Daivien Williamson. The Winston Salem native finished the game with 27 points on 10-16 shooting including 5-8 from beyond the arc. The only other Wake Forest player to reach double figures was Damari Monsanto, who finished with 12 points. Wake’s dynamic duo of Alondes Williams and Jake LaRavia scored just 13 points combined on 5-17 shooting. The Deacs probably aren’t going to win many ACC games when those two score under 10 points.
This was just one of those games where Syracuse wouldn’t miss from the field and Wake Forest turned the ball over what seemed like half of their possessions in the second half. That—of course—resulted in a huge blowout loss for the Deacs. The important thing, now that this one is over, is to learn from it and move on. Obviously, every game is important, but losing to Pitt at home, which would go down as a quad 4 loss, would be pretty devastating for Wake’s NCAA Tournament chances. The Deacs cannot afford to let this big loss affect them in their next game.
This game was awful—there’s no way to sugar coat it. It would probably be best for the Deacs to just burn the tape and forget it ever happened. We’re on to the next one. Go Deacs!