Boeheim lifts Syracuse past No. 18 Virginia, 63-55 in OT

Tanya Simon
January 14, 2020

The Orange now sit at 8-7 overall and are led by Elijah Hughes (19.6 ppg) and Buddy Boeheim (15.3 ppg). Since their loss to Purdue, the Cavaliers have averaged less than 0.90 points per possession only once, their most recent game against Boston College.

The Cavaliers had a scoreless stretch of seven minutes in the second half and trailed by only 36-35 before Braxton Key put Virginia in front. With the Orange being a fairly good offense team that has some defensive issues, I think they match up well with the Cavaliers since the hosts aren't likely to light it up any time soon.

The Cavaliers lost back-to-back games for the first time since the 2016-17 season.

Virginia: The Cavaliers' inconsistency on offense was on full display in the second half when they didn't score for almost 3 minutes, then scored 12 consecutive points in about 3 1/2 minutes to take a 35-30 lead.

Jay Huff led Virginia (11-4, 3-2) with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Virginia shot 31 percent from the field, while Syracuse shot 33 percent.

Virginia scored first with a Huff layup.

Virginia continued to apply pressure as Huff and Clark scored points inside the paint, extending the unanswered run to 12 points.

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If Syracuse is to return to its normal position on the bubble, it needs to start winning ACC games post haste. If they're going to win then it's a given that they need Hughes and Boeheim to score but they need support from starters and the bench.

As both teams played with a sense of urgency, the game was a back-and-forth battle to the finish.

Diakite had 13 points and eight rebounds, and Clark also had 13 points, nine assists and six rebounds, but Clark was 4-for-14 from the floor, and missed eight of his last nine shots, including the potential game-winner at the end of regulation.

Throughout overtime, both sides found greater success in shooting. Eliaah Hughes and Joseph Girard III had the other 3 points while the Orange led 52-45.

Virginia would twice get the margin back to five, but a Boeheim wing and prayer - a 40-footer that he flung in the general direction of the basket after chasing down a loose ball as the shot clock expired - would make it 57-49 Syracuse with 1:19 to go.

Head coach Tony Bennett of the Virginia Cavaliers.

The defending champs did not back down at the sight of adversity and instead took a second half lead of their own after taking Syracuse's best shot.

While Diakite and Woldetensae each buried three-pointers in the final minute, Virginia couldn't catch up, losing its second-straight game by a score of 63-55. If Saturday can be one of those nights when they can get into a rhythm for a large period of the game then there is upset potential. The Orange are 8-7 and have looked lackluster in any game involving legitimate opposition - not what you want coming into a trying ACC schedule at this time of year.

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