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Syracuse uses late free throws to down Notre Dame

Jan 14, 2023; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Judah Mintz (3) drives to the basket as Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard J.J. Starling (1) defends during the first half at the JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Bell scored 17 points and host Syracuse made clutch free throws in the last two minutes to secure a 78-73 comeback victory against Notre Dame on Saturday night.

Maliq Brown scored 15 points, Judah Mintz tallied 14 points and eight assists and Jesse Edwards had 13 points and 15 rebounds for Syracuse (12-6, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Hot-shooting Notre Dame (9-9, 1-6) cooled off in the final minutes and it cost the Irish, who lost to Syracuse for the second time this season.

Marcus Hammond hit four 3-point shots and scored 18 points off the bench for the Irish.

Dane Goodwin had 15 points, Nate Laszewski posted 14 and Trey Wertz had 12 for a Notre Dame offense that was 15-for-37 from beyond the arc.

Mintz made a free throw with 1:46 left to break a 71-71 tie. After Notre Dame missed a 3-pointer and committed a turnover, Edwards sank two foul shots with 1:06 remaining. Mintz made two more free throws at the 20-second mark and another two foul shots in the last second to seal the victory.

Notre Dame’s lead grew to 56-44 on Wertz’s 3-pointer with less than 13 minutes to play.

The Orange responded, and by the time Justin Taylor drained a 3-pointer to cap a 13-4 run, it closed within 63-60 with 8:43 to play. An Edwards free throw made it 63-61.

The Irish had answers, beginning with Laszewski’s three-point play.

Syracuse, which went about six minutes without guard Joe Girard on the court as he was treated for a cut above his eye, went almost 3 1/2 minutes without a field goal before Brown had dunks on back-to-back possessions and Bell’s 3-pointer sent the Orange to a 69-68 lead.

Hammond drained another trey on Notre Dame’s next possession.

The Irish led 40-36 at halftime, matching the largest margin of the first half for either team.

Notre Dame had four 3-pointers in the last six minutes of the half. The Irish were 9-for-18 on treys before the break, accounting for nearly all of their 14 field goals. Notre Dame had 13 assists on those 14 baskets.

Bell, who had scored in double figures just once since November, had 11 points at intermission.

–Field Level Media