The Deacs are still looking for their first-ever victory against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome, as the Wake Forest men’s basketball team again fell to Syracuse by a score of 72-94. Although it was a very bad loss for Wake, I don’t think we should overreact to the final score. Even with the searing 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 wasn’t great at first but other than that everything was 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 came back from the locker room after halftime. The Deacs crumbled completely in the second half, scoring just 30 points and turning the ball over 11 times. On the other side of the court, Syracuse went completely unconscious from the floor, scoring 55 points in the second half on 62% shooting, including 55% from the 3-point line. Simply put, the Deacs were outplayed in the second half.
Syracuse had a huge night from senior Buddy Boeheim, who scored 30 points and just 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 if he had 2 defenders around him, if he shot, it went in. The Orange also got a huge game from Cole Swider. Swider finished with 18 points and also had moments where he just fired every shot he threw at goal. He finished shooting 72 percent 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 only bright spot for Wake Forest was senior Daivien Williamson. The Winston Salem native finished the game with 27 points on 10-16 shots including 5-8 from beyond the arc. The only other Wake Forest player to hit double figures was Damari Monsanto, who finished with 12 points. Wake’s dynamic duo of Alondes Williams and Jake LaRavia scored just 13 combined points on 5-17 shooting. The Deacs likely won’t win many ACC games when these two score less than 10. points.
It was just one of those games where Syracuse wouldn’t run out of ground and Wake Forest turned the ball over on what looked like half of their possessions in the second half. This, of course, resulted in a huge loss for the Deacs. The important thing, now that this one is over, is to learn from it and move on. Obviously, every game matters, but losing to Pitt at home, which would result in a quad 4 loss, would be pretty devastating to Wake’s chances at the NCAA Tournament. The Deacs can’t afford to let this big loss affect them in their next game.
This game was awful – there’s no way to sugarcoat it. It would probably be better if the Deacs just burned the tape and forgot it ever happened. We move on to the next. Go deacons!