Terrence Thompson scored a go-ahead, fastbreak basket as the Wake Forest produced five consecutive points late in the game to upend Syracuse 73-67 on Wednesday night at Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The Demon Deacons beat the Orange for the first time in school history.
Bryant Crawford scored 19 points and Thompson finished with 13 points for the Demon Deacons, who lost the teams’ previous five meetings.
Mitchell Wilbekin contributed 10 points and eight assists for Wake Forest (8-6 overall, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), which avoided falling to 0-2 in ACC play for a fourth season in a row.
Frank Howard tallied 23 points, Oshae Brissett had 16 points, Tyus Battle added 13 and Paschal Chukwu scored 10 for Syracuse (12-3, 1-1).
Syracuse went scoreless on four straight possessions before Brissett’s three-point play off a rebound at the 34.3-second mark close the gap to 66-64.
Wake Forest’s Brandon Childress made two free throws with 31.1 seconds left, and Demon Deacons center Olivier Sarr made five foul shots in the last 24 seconds for his only points.
It was a back-and-forth final 10 minutes.
Chaundee Brown’s first basket of the game was a 3-pointer, putting Wake Forest ahead 55-53.
The Orange was even at 59-59 on Brissett’s trey.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Crawford and Wilbekin sent the Demon Deacons to their first lead of the second half at 46-44.
Syracuse went up 51-46 before Crawford answered with a corner 3-pointer followed by a Syracuse basket and another Crawford corner trey.
Battle, who leads Syracuse in scoring, picked up his fourth foul on an offensive charge with 12:55 remaining.
Wake Forest center Doral Moore was saddled with his fourth foul at the 10:36 mark.
Wake Forest guard Keyshawn Woods, the team’s scoring leader at 15.7 points per game entering the night, exited early with an apparent knee injury. He was 2-for-2 with a 3-pointer, scoring five points in three first-half minutes.
Syracuse was coming off a defensive effort that held Virginia Tech, which led the country in field-goal percentage, to 34.6 percent shooting in a Sunday night home victory. Wake Forest shot 44.6 percent Wednesday, while the Orange shot 43 percent.
Wake Forest built a 20-12 lead, but the Orange pulled ahead at 29-25 with a 12-0 run.
Wilbekin followed with a four-point play before Howard’s 3-pointer closed the first-half scoring.
Wilbekin, a senior guard, notched a career high with eight assists.
—Field Level Media