Girard Tough In Clutch As SU Downs North Carolina
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Buddy Boeheim scored 26 points and buried six 3-pointers, and Syracuse (14-8, 8-7) knocked off North Carolina (15-9, 9-6), 72-70 in the Carrier Dome on Monday evening.
HOW THE GAME WAS DECIDED
Joseph Girard III sandwiched two made free throws around a key rebound in the final 13 seconds of the contest to secure the win for the Orange. His initial make put Syracuse in front, 71-68, with 13 seconds remaining. The Orange opted to foul with the three-point lead and North Carolina's Caleb Love missed both tries. Girard hauled in the second miss and was fouled. His tally from the charity stripe put Syracuse ahead, 72-68 with 10 seconds left. The Tar Heels addeda late basket and the Orange held on.
Boeheim, who surpassed 20 points for the third time in four games, was joined in double figures by Quincy Guerrier, who tallied 18 points. The Orange also received significant contributions from its bench, as Kadary Richmond dished out a career-high nine assists and Jesse Edwards grabbed a team-best eight boards.
FROM COACH BOEHEIM
"I'm really proud of the fight in this team" said Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. "I thought that Jesse (Edwards) gave us some really good minutes and I think that the Kadary (Richmond) made a difference by looking to get in the lane and then finding shooters. It was a real battle, and I can't tell you how proud I am of this team to hang in there and battle through this."
UNC UP EARLY
An early 9-0 run by the Tar Heels gave the visitors an 11-2 lead. The Orange battled back with an 8-0 stretch of their own to cut the UNC lead to one, 11-10, with seven minutes gone in the opening frame.
With 12 minutes to play in the first half, North Carolina orchestrated an 11-3 scoring streak that featured field goals from five different players to push the margin to nine, 22-13, with 6:46 to go in the half.
SYRACUSE SPEEDS AHEAD
The Orange narrowed the North Carolina lead to three, thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from Guerrier. It put Syracuse ahead, 26-23, with 3:41 left on the clock.
Armando Bacot made a layup to push the Tar Heel lead to five, but the Orange offense answered back emphatically to end the half. With 2:42 remaining in the half, Boeheim buried a 3-pointer that incited an 11-0 Syracuse scoring streak, which gave the Orange a 34-28 advantage at the break. The stretch to close the half featured a trio of triples from Boeheim, who tallied 17 points and drained five 3-pointers in the game's first 20 minutes.
'CUSE KEEPS IT UP
After a Boeheim make from the charity stripe opened the scoring in the second stanza, the Tar Heels tacked on eight unanswered points to reclaim the lead, 36-35, with two minutes gone in the period. Not to be outdone, the 'Cuse countered with a 15-2 scoring spree that featured six points from Guerrier and four from Richmond to establish a 12-point Orange advantage, 50-38, with 12 minutes to play in the contest.
Carolina cooked up seven unanswered points that were part of a 9-2 scoring stretch to pull within five of Syracuse, 47-52. However, the Orange added a 9-2 run of their own that was capped by a pair of Guerrier layups to push the lead back to double-digits, 61-49, with six minutes remaining in the game.
HOLDING OFF THE HEELS
UNC used a 10-2 run that featured five points from Love to trim the Syracuse lead to 70-68 with 19 seconds remaining, but a pair of clutch free throws from Girard nailed down the tirumph.
The win improves Syracuse's home record to 12-1 on the season.
The Orange avenged an 81-75 loss to North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Jan. 12.
Buddy Boeheim became the 64th player in Syracuse history to record 1,000 career points when he buried a 3-pointer with nine seconds left in the first half. The same 3-pointer also allowed him to pass Marius Janulis (190 3-pointers) for sole possession of eighth place in program history for 3-point field goals.
The Tar Heels outrebounded the Orange, 53-33. The 53 Carolina rebounds were two-shy of the Dome record by an Orange opponent. Rhode Island grabbed 55 boards on November 30, 2003.
Syracuse outscored North Carolina in fastbreak points, 20-9.
Syracuse surpassed UNC in points off turnovers, 28-9.
The Orange recorded 15 steals, the most that Syracuse has recorded in a game since also tallying 15 thefts at Wake Forest on March 2, 2019.
Jesse Edwards recorded eight rebounds, tying the career high he had set against Georgia Tech on Saturday. He also recorded a career high four steals.
Kadary Richmond's 10 assists are the most by a Syracuse freshman since Kaleb Joseph also dished out 10 helpers in an overtime loss at Villanova on December 20, 2014. The last Orange freshman to record 10+ assists in a regulation contest was Jonny Flynn, who had 10 assists against Rhode Island on December 8, 2007.
The Orange close the 2020-21 regular season with a home contest against Clemson on Wednesday, March 3. Tip off from the Carrier Dome is set for 5 p.m. The game was originally scheduled to be played on Jan. 12 but was postponed due to a COVID issue with the Clemson program. The teams previously met on February 6 in South Carolina, where Clemson emerged victorious, 78-61.