Goodine and Edwards Save Syracuse From Crushing Loss to Wake Forest
By Justin Paura
Syracuse Men’s Basketball Beat Reporter
Similarly to all of Jim Boeheim’s teams at Syracuse University, the Orange this season are not known for being a deep team. Only six players on the roster who have played at least two games average over ten minutes of playing time a game.
The lack of depth adds to the spectacle of Syracuse’s win Saturday night against Wake Forest. When Marek Dolezaj joined Quincy Guerrier and Bourama Sidibe on the bench with five fouls, SU trailed by two points with 5:42 left on the clock. Boeheim was forced into playing freshmen Jesse Edwards and Brycen Goodine for the remainder of the game, neither of whom played in more than 15 of the Orange’s 23 games all season.
It proved to be the right decision by the 43-year veteran head coach. Edwards tipped the rebound of a missed Elijah Hughes’ three-pointer to Goodine, who was able to score the layup to give SU the lead with 1.7 seconds to go. Wake Forest (10-13, 3-10 ACC) did not have a response and Syracuse (14-9, 7-5 ACC) escaped with a 75-73 victory in the Carrier Dome.
“It’s fitting a little, we win the game on Jesse getting the ball to Brycen and Brycen gets it in the basket,” coach Boeheim said. “That was a heck of a play.”
Goodine had not played in any game since the Orange took on Pittsburgh back on January 25. He proved to be the unlikely hero for his team, opting to stay confident and prepare himself to make the big play.
“I was just getting ready for the game whenever I got in,” Goodine said. “Just make a play, both sides of the court, whether I had the ball or not.”
Edwards had more contributions than just the game-winning tip to Goodine. The freshman added two steals in critical situations down the stretch and anchored the 2-3 zone with stout defense.
“You got to admire that group that was on the court for the last four minutes to be able to win the game,” coach Boeheim said.
Along with Edwards and Goodine, Buddy Boeheim, Joe Girard III and Hughes finished out the game for the ‘Cuse. Boeheim led all scorers with 23 points, including five three-pointers, and Hughes notched his tenth 20-point performance of the season.
The road does not get any easier from here as the Orange gear up for a tough three-game slate that includes two top ranked opponents. It all starts against the NC State Wolfpack (15-8, 6-6 ACC) who come to the Dome Tuesday night for a 7pm showdown before back-to-back road games against No. 8 Florida State (20-4, 10-3 ACC) and No. 5 Louisville (21-3, 12-1 ACC).
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