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

Ruben Hill
January 14, 2020

It was a much different ending for the son of Orange coach Jim Boeheim, who told his son to just keep shooting after he missed 10 of his first 11 shots. The defending national champion Cavaliers are struggling to score this season, averaging just 55.7 points a game. Immediately thereafter, they went 7 minutes without a point.

Virginia trailed by eight early in the second half but used a 15-2 run to go ahead 35-30 with 12:03 to play. 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 Orange had an answer, however, tying the score 9-9 with two free throws by junior forward Marek Dolezaj.

Syracuse regained its composure and tied the game at 35 on Joe Girard's 3-pointer with 9:45 remaining. But Clark has the ability to spark offense - including a 13-assist performance against Navy - and if he creates like that on Saturday, Syracuse could be in trouble.

Saturday's game could be another slug-fest, as these two struggling offenses try to outscore the other.

Syracuse: The Orange scored just 34 points in their first game against the Cavaliers, which was the season-opener for both teams. 8 percent for the game, scored 20 points in OT after producing 19 in the second half. Hughes missed again, but the Orange held on as Virginia failed to score in the final seconds.

KenPom odds: Syracuse has a 27% chance to win the game, with KenPom predicting a 60-53 UVA win. Meanwhile, the teams continued to trade points as Hughes sunk his third three-pointer and Huff slammed yet another impressive dunk.

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

Mustering its fewest points in Boeheim's 44-year tenure, Syracuse shot just 23.6 percent from the field and 17.2 percent (5 of 29) from 3-point range.

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. It was tied 11-11 when Syracuse hit back-to-back three-pointers and eventually took a 24-20 lead into the half. Virginia is now 0-4 when trailing at halftime, and also 0-4 when allowing 60 or more points in a game (the 'Hoos are a ideal 11-0 in all other contests this season).

"We got the ball in certain spots there but we couldn't come up with key stops", Tony Bennett said of the overtime woes. 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.

Here's what to know about the Cavaliers before the 4 p.m. tip.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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