Wake Forest knocks off Syracuse in final seconds 77-74; Boeheim steps down
Wake Forest’s Daivien Williamson nailed a three-pointer with 0.5 seconds left to put a cap on the Syracuse season and Jim Boeheim’s 47-year tenure at SU.
Months and years of speculation on when Boeheim would retire came to fruition hours after his press conference remarks.
Boeheim repeatedly mentioned that “it’s up to the university.” Well, it didn’t take long for SU to officially announce that the 78-year-old would not be returning.
Jim Boeheim’s legacy included a national championship in 2003, 35 NCAA Tournament appearances, five Final Four showings, and a whole lot more.
Syracuse University announced that longtime assistant coach, Adrian Autry, will replace Boeheim as the new head coach. This marks the first name other than Boeheim in the leading shoes since 1976.
Syracuse got off to a hot start from the three-point line. Chris Bell and Benny Williams knocked down two triples apiece in the first ten minutes and got the Orange off to a 22-10 advantage midway through the first half.
Wake Forest responded with a 11-0 run that included eight points from Bobi Klintman and a Lucas Taylor trey to cut the deficit to just 22-21.
Judah Mintz recorded seven first half points and Tyree Appleby notched eight. Both teams traded buckets the remainder of the first half and Syracuse led 35-33 at the break.
Both squads came out of the locker rooms and traded buckets until the Demon Deacons went on a 15-3 surge and led 56-43 with 10:43 remaining in the second half. Appleby and Williamson each recorded a triple in that span.
The Orange didn’t let up, however, as they responded with a 14-2 run and trailed the Deacs 58-57 with 8:01 left in the second. Joe Girard’s three-pointer cut the deficit to just one point.
SU trailed the final seven minutes of the contest, but regained the lead when Benny Williams' three-pointer gave SU a 74-72 advantage with one minute to go. It was the Cuse’s first lead since the 16:39 mark in the second half.
It didn’t last for long, as Cameron Hildreth knocked down a jumper with 35 seconds left to make it 74-all. Joe Girard missed on a fadeaway jumper with six seconds remaining, and that was followed by Williamson’s triple to win it for Wake Forest.
“In tough games when it comes down to the end of the game we gotta finish better, make defensive plays, and get better shots up,” Benny Williams said.
Williams said that Quadir Copeland gave the Orange an energy boost: “I don’t think we would’ve been in the game without him.”
Copeland finished with six points, five rebounds, two steals, and he went 6-6 from the charity stripe.
Williams recorded 18 points, 11 rebounds, and five steals. Mintz finished with 18 points and seven assists. Jesse Edwards finished with a double-double which featured 12 points and 10 rebounds.
All five Deacs’ starters finished in double figures. Appleby had 12 assists.
For the Orange, a different, but familiar figure will roam the sideline in the 2023-24 season.