Syracuse took down Clemson 64-54 to snap the Tiger’s 5-game win streak, effectively defending home court twice in three days. Are things turning around for the Orange or is it too little too late?
This was obviously the biggest game of the year for Syracuse. On the cusp of the bubble coming in, without strong wins on the resume, the Orange had to show they could beat good opponents consistently. The win against UNC was big, tonight’s win against Clemson, a lot bigger.
At the beginning this game was hard to watch. Neither team could score, after 20 minutes SU was up 25-22. It looked like a pickup game at your local rec center. Guys were just hucking up shots, driving to the rim through contact, air-balling layups.
The second half could not have been more of a polar opposite. Less than four minutes into the second half the Orange scored 15 points, Alan Griffin was draining threes, Quincy Guerrier was slamming alley-oops, it looked like the early 2010s all over again.
Syracuse more than doubled its first half total less than 10 minutes in the second, and didn’t look back. Alan Griffin took over for one of his best games of the season. When Griffin does that this team is hard to beat.
The team on the floor tonight didn’t look like the same squad that lost to Duke and Georgia Tech not too long ago. Depth has been a lot stronger in the forms of Kadary Richmond, Robert Braswell, and most recently Jesse Edwards, the defense has looked strong, and today in the second half the SU offense was lights out.
If Boehiem’s squad can pick up a few wins in the ACC tournament, an NCAA tournament appearance is entirely possible. Clemson was a team coming off 5 straight victories, definitely not a shabby win in the slightest. After the game, Coach Boeheim talked about his team’s tournament chances, he sounded happy with what his team has accomplished this year:
This SU team might not be the most talented in team history, but never count them out to turn on the jets when they need to. Don’t forget about the last game Syracuse played before COVID ended the 2019-20 campaign. An 81-53 win over a UNC team they had no business beating. Sure they lost Elijah Hughes but the addition of Alan Griffin and Kadary Richmond + the growth of Jesse Edwards and Robert Braswell makes this team special.
It was also senior night tonight in the Dome. Most notably, Bourama Sidibe and Marek Dolezaj were honored, it must have been a tough experience for two fan favorites to be celebrated without any of their local supporters present. Coach Boeheim revealed after the game that Dolezaj played today with a fracture on his non-shooting hand. Wow.