Wake Forest holds off Syracuse 73-67 for 1st ACC victory

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - Bryant Crawford scored 19 points to help Wake Forest beat Syracuse 73-67 on Wednesday night.

The Demon Deacons (8-6, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) went ahead for good on Terrence Thompson's scooping layup with 1:56 left. Wake Forest then did just enough to hang on, earning its first win in six tries against the Orange (12-3, 1-1) despite missing five final-minute free throws.

Thompson had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Demon Deacons, while Mitchell Wilbekin added 10 points to go with a career-best eight assists.

Frank Howard scored 23 points to lead Syracuse, including two free throws to tie the game at 61 with 2:27 left.

The Demon Deacons played most of the way without top scorer Keyshawn Woods, who checked out at the 11:52 mark of the first half with a knee injury after a 2-for-2 shooting start.

BIG PICTURE

Syracuse: The Orange had a chance at their first 2-0 ACC start since the 2014-15 season, but they shot just 39 percent after halftime. Syracuse also came in ranked fifth nationally in rebounding margin, only to be outrebounded 38-29.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons had won six straight after a 1-4 start, but followed that with late-game fades in losses to ranked Tennessee (at home) and North Carolina (in Chapel Hill). They hung on this time, though not until freshman Olivier Sarr went 4 for 4 at the foul line in the final 16.1 seconds to steady Wake Forest's wobbly finish.

UP NEXT

Syracuse: The Orange host Notre Dame on Saturday.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons travel to Boston College on Saturday.