SYRACUSE, NEW YORK — The Syracuse men’s basketball team spent the entire second half climbing the mountain of a second-half deficit that saw taking the lead come agonizingly close time and again. It took the very last second of the game for the Orange to finally reach the apex.
Quadir Copeland nailed a three-pointer from the left wing as time expired to lift Syracuse to a 72-69 victory over Miami inside the JMA Wireless Dome on Saturday afternoon. The three, which kept Syracuse undefeated at home this season, equaled the largest lead for the Orange in the entire game.
Guard Judah Mintz had 10 points and a career-high 13 assists, with his last helper coming on the play that sent the dome into raptures. Mintz dribbled toward the Syracuse sideline and appeared stopped after a double team, but he was able to whip a crosscourt pass to Copeland, who rose up and nailed just his sixth three-pointer of the season.
The Hurricanes took a one-point lead into halftime, 31-30, and opened that gap to eight after a Matthew Cleveland basket right before the under-8 timeout. Syracuse tied the game on a couple of occasions in the second half, but were turned back from taking the lead by clutch Miami baskets.
J.J. Starling, who led the Orange with 22 points, hit a three at the 4:30 mark to tie the game at 59, the first of three consecutive possessions that ended with a long ball. Bensley Joseph’s three on the ensuing possession gave Miami the lead back at 62-59, then Chris Bell’s deep ball tied things up again at 62 with 3:54 left. The Orange finally took the lead for the first time in the second half on a Maliq Brown follow after he grabbed an offensive rebound with 3:16 remaining.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Saturday afternoon’s contest, with photos taken by ALOST staff photographer Scotty Rausenberger. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 12 pictures in total.