Syracuse men’s hoops collapses at Miami in a brutal 88-87 loss

SU hoops collapses in the second half at Miami

The Orange lost despite leading the Hurricanes by 18 points in Wednesday's first half.
Published: January 6, 2022 | Updated: May 27th, 2022 at 2:26 pm
Miami's Kameron McGusty (23) looks up toward the basket as he coasts in for two points after making a move past Syracuse's Cole Swider during an ACC men's basketball game on Wednesday at Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Florida.
Miami's Kameron McGusty (23) scored 19 points on Wednesday night at Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Florida.

MIAMI — Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Syracuse men’s basketball worked hard to build a double-digit halftime lead, and then promptly squandered it away.

The Orange (7-7, 1-2 ACC) built a 44-30 lead in the first 20 minutes, but lost it in the blink of an eye. The Hurricanes (12-3, 4-0 ACC) went on a 33-11 blitz to open the second half, then held on in the game’s waning seconds for an 88-87 victory.

“It’s very frustrating – I mean, there’s really no excuse,” said graduate forward Jimmy Boeheim. “We have to be able to come out in the second half and put them away.”

Turnovers plagued the Orange in this one, as SU coughed the ball up on 26% of its possessions for 19 giveaways. That led to 25 key points for the Hurricanes, including 14 in the second half.

“Twenty-five points off turnovers, you can’t do that on the road,” said head coach Jim Boeheim following the defeat. “It’s just hard to overcome that.”

Syracuse's Jesse Edwards lets out a scream and dunks as Miami's Anthony Walker can only watch.
Jesse Edwards (14) scored a career-high 22 points against the Hurricanes on Wednesday night.

As has become customary, the Orange looked like world-beaters early on. They held the Hurricanes to just 29% first-half shooting, and junior center Jesse Edwards scored 14 on seven of nine first-half field goal attempts.

It seemed like the Orange were in cruise control. But as Syracuse fans have learned, how this team starts is often a far cry from how it finishes.

“We come out with the same focus every second half,” said Edwards. “I couldn’t tell you what it is – if I knew I would fix it right away.”

In many regards, it was a marquee night for Edwards, who set new career highs in points with 22 and blocks with seven. Junior guard Joseph Girard III also shined, and led the Orange with 26 points while drilling a career-high seven threes.

Syracuse's Jimmy Boeheim (right) tries to keep possession of a loose ball headed toward the baseline with Miami's Anthony Walker behind him.
Jimmy Boeheim (right) tries to keep possession of a loose ball with Miami's Anthony Walker (1) behind him.

But the Boeheim brothers struggled to pick up the slack. Senior guard Buddy Boeheim scored just nine points on 2-7 shooting, and fouled out with over 90 seconds to play, missing the last-ditch comeback push. Jimmy also shot just 2-7 and totaled only seven points of his own.

Miami’s Charlie Moore was another huge reason the Orange came out the losers in this one. The sixth-year guard totaled a season-high 25 points on 6-10 three-point shooting.

“Some of those were six, eight feet behind the line,” said Jim. “When a guy shoots like that, there’s not much you can do.”

Having dropped to .500 a full 14 games into the season, the Orange are left with no time to waste. Their demanding ACC slate continues with a matchup at 12-3 Wake Forest this Saturday. Tip-off from LJVM Coliseum will be at 2 p.m.