Syracuse, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Led by a career-high 35 points from Rakeem Christmas, the Syracuse Orange outlasted the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in overtime, 86-83, in an Atlantic Coast Conference thriller at the Carrier Dome.
For the Orange (13-4, 4-0 ACC), Trevor Cooney added 21 points, Michael Gbinije finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists and Tyler Roberson grabbed 10 rebounds.
Dinos Mitoglou led the Demon Deacons (9-9, 1-4) with 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor, while Codi Miller-McIntyre scored 21, pulled down six rebounds and dished out six assists. Devin Thomas posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out.
Wake Forest finished the first half on a 7-3 run, capped by a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Miller-McIntyre, as the Demon Deacons took the slimmest of leads into intermission, 37-36. They shot 43.8 percent from the field in the half, but only 3-of-12 from 3-point distance. Syracuse shot a similar 42.9 percent from the field but that included a more efficient 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.
With Wake Forest holding a four-point lead with just under four minutes to play in regulation, Syracuse ran off six straight points to take a 67-65 advantage just a minute later. The Orange still clung to a three-point advantage when Cornelius Hudson knocked down a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left to knot the score at 71-71 and send the meeting to overtime.
After the squads traded leads early in the bonus session, Syracuse moved out to an 85-80 lead with nine seconds to play before Miller-McIntire drained a 3- pointer just four seconds later. Cooney made 1-of-2 free throws to give the Orange a 86-83 lead with three seconds to play. Hudson's half-court shot at the buzzer caught iron but rattled out, allowing the Orange to escape with the victory.
In a game that featured nine ties and 14 lead changes, the Orange were able to capitalize on miscues by the Demon Deacons, converting 13 Wake Forest turnovers into 18 points.