Back-to-Back Wins: Tyus Battle carries Syracuse Basketball to victory over Wake Forest
Tyus Battle has been Syracuse's leader all season long.
On Sunday, Battle led the way for the Orange.
The sophomore from Edison, New Jersey poured in a game-high 34 points during Sunday's 78-70 win over Wake Forest.
And the Orange needed every single point in order to come out victorious.
Syracuse raced out to the double-digit lead in the first half, and added to it in the second half.
Oshae Brissett (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Frank Howard (12 points, 9 assists) chipped in to keep Syracuse in front.
But that's when Wake Forest woke up.
After shooting 1-for-10 from three-point territory in the first half, the Demon Deacons responded by going 9-for-13 from three in the second half.
Bryant Crawford and Mitchell Wilbekin each knocked down four three-pointers, cutting Syracuse's lead to only three points late in the game.
But that's when the Orange answered, time and time again.
A four-point game with under a minute to play, Crawford drove into the lane but was turned away by Paschal Chukwu who had three blocks in the game.
Battle tracked down the loose ball and turned the block into a dunk at the other end, sealing the win for the Orange in front of 24,018 fans from the Carrier Dome.
"I thought the first half our defense was the best it's been all year," Boeheim said during his post game press conference. "They're a tremendous offensive team. We just covered them and chased them off spots -- didn't let them get comfortable. They're going to make some shots. I don't know if anybody's come in here and made six three's in a row. But that's pretty good shooting.
"They missed a couple, that was really the difference in the game, when it was close," Boeheim continued. "Tyus' [Battle] ability to get to the basket -- and I thought Frank [Howard] made a great play throwing it to Paschal [Chukwu] -- he finished it down there. They've lost a lot of games in the league, but they've got a very, very good offensive team. They have three guys that can shoot it all the time. We just played great defense in the first half. When they made their run, we had a little bit of a cushion. Every game in this league is like this, it's been like this and will be like this. It's a good win and we're happy to get it."
The Orange will return to action Wednesday night (Valentine's Day) for a 9 p.m. tip against North Carolina State.