Syracuse’s Comeback Falls Short to North Carolina State
Syracuse suffered a debilitating loss to North Carolina State, 74-70, on Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome.
After trailing 70-62 with 2:48 left, the Orange used an 8-0 run, capped by a three pointer from Oshae Brissett, to tie the game at 70 with 1:01 to go. Markell Johnson drilled a trey to put the Wolfpack up 73-70 with 33.4 remaining. A late Omer Yurtseven free throw sealed the victory for North Carolina State.
Syracuse led 24-17 with 7:53 left in the first half, but a 13-2 run by the Wolfpack gave them the lead. North Carolina State took a 35-32 lead into the break on a layup by Allerik Freeman at the buzzer.
The Orange led 54-48 with 9:43 to go in the final stanza, but an 8-2 run by the Wolfpack tied the game at 56. A Sam Hunt triple with 7:13 remaining jump-started the 14-6 spurt that put North Carolina State up eight late.
The Wolfpack shot 55.1% from the field, including 10-of-23 (43.5%) from distance. Syracuse shot 52.3% from the field, but connected on only 5-of-14 (35.7%) of their attempts from deep. The disparity in three point shooting won the game for North Carolina State.
The Wolfpack were led by Freeman who scored 17 points and dished out 5 assists. Johnson tallied 16 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, and distributed 5 assists. Hunt, who did not score in nine minutes against North Carolina on Saturday, lit up the Orange for 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc.
Syracuse was led by Brissett who poured in 25 points on 8-of-13 from the floor, including 4-of-7 from three-point land. Brissett also corralled 7 rebounds. Tyus Battle finished with 17 points. Frank Howard added 16 points and 6 assists. Matthew Moyer contributed with 8 points and 4 rebounds off the bench.
Jim Boeheim commented on his team’s performance in his postgame press conference. “The game was decided on us not getting to three point shooters in the last couple of minutes,” Boeheim said. “They’re a good shooting team and they made them. Our defense was just not good enough tonight.”
The loss does not bode well for Syracuse’s NCAA Tournament hopes. At 16-9 overall, 6-7 in the ACC, the Orange missed the opportunity to knock off another bubble team in North Carolina State (17-9, 7-6 ACC). Syracuse has the opportunity to play themselves into the Tournament with big wins down the stretch, but that may be tough to come by. In their final five games, the Orange are at Miami, home against North Carolina, at Duke and Boston College, and then home against Clemson. Syracuse has a lot to prove to the selection committee. Even though the opportunity is there, it will not be easy.
The Orange will travel to Coral Gables, FL to take on the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday at noon. Miami enters the contest at 18-7 overall and 7-6 in the ACC. The Hurricanes suffered a 59-50 setback at the hands of Virginia on Tuesday. Miami has a balanced attack that is led by Dewan Huell who is averaging 11.8 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Last year, Syracuse came away with a 70-55 win over the Hurricanes at home during the regular season, but fell 62-57 to the Hurricanes in the ACC Tournament.