Battle-tested Syracuse holds off Deacons in Dome

Tyus Battle scored a game-high 34 points on 10-for-18 shooting as the Orange avenged an earlier loss at Wake Forest

Syracuse's Tyus Battle scores between Wake Forest defenders Chaundee Brown and Doral Moore during Saturday's game at the Carrier Dome. (Mark Konezny / USA TODAY Sports)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Tyus Battle made up for perhaps his worst game of the season as host Syracuse held off Wake Forest 78-70 Sunday afternoon in an ACC basketball game before 24,018 fans at the Carrier Dome.

Battle scored a game-high 34 points on 10-for-18 shooting (3-for-4 from beyond the arc and 11 of 13 from the foul line) as the Orange overcame awful foul shooting down the stretch. In Syracuse’s 73-67 loss at Wake Forest on Jan. 3, Battle scored just 13 points on 4-for-12 shooting (1-for-7 from 3-point range) with five turnovers and no assists.

Leading 65-63, Syracuse (17-8, 6-6 ACC) slowly built its lead to 70-65 despite missing six out of nine free throws. Oshae Brissett finally converted a pair of foul shots to make it 72-65, and the Orange held on despite making just 9 of 17 free throws in the final four minutes. Battle sealed the win with a pair of foul shots and a dunk in the closing seconds.

Brissett scored 15 points with a team-high 10 rebounds, and Frank Howard added 12 points for Syracuse.

Bryant Crawford led Wake Forest with 24 points, while Doral Moore had 16 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. The Demon Deacons (9-16, 2-11) have lost 10 of their last 11 games.

Battle scored six points in a 9-2 run that gave the Orange a 40-26 lead early in the second half. Wake Forest responded with a 6-0 run, but Battle completed a 4-point play and then made a steal and drove for a thunderous dunk as Syracuse maintained a 46-34 advantage.

After missing 11 of their first 14 3-pointers, the Demon Deacons sank six consecutive treys, including four by Mitchell Wilbekin. On his fourth 3-pointer, Wilbekin was fouled and made the free throw to nudge Wake Forest within six, 61-55. An 8-0 spurt cut Wake Forest’s deficit to 65-63 with about four minutes remaining.

Syracuse outscored Wake Forest 15-8 over the final 6 1/2 minutes of the first half to build a 31-21 lead at the break. Howard and Battle ignited that run with 3-pointers, and Brissett also sank a 3-pointer during that stretch.

The Demon Deacons shot just 28 percent (7-for-25) in the first half and they missed their first nine 3-point attempts before Crawford’s deep trey with 2 seconds left in the half. Crawford (10 points) and Moore (eight) shot a combined 6-for-11 in the first half while their teammates made only 1 of 14 shots.