Syracuse’s Upset Bid Falls Short
Syracuse was defeated, 78-74, by #10 North Carolina at home Wednesday night.
The Orange trailed the Tar Heels by as many as 12 points in the second half, but Syracuse outscored North Carolina 23-11 leading up to when Tyus Battle tied the game at 74 on a jumper with 3:09 left.
Joel Berry II rattled off the final four points off the game, including the game-winning break-away layup with 1:36 left to seal the win for the Tar Heels.
The Orange had success driving against the Tar Heels in the second half, but settled for jump shots down the stretch and were unable to come up with the win.
North Carolina stretched their lead to 12 points with 31 seconds remaining in the opening stanza, but a three pointer by Oshae Brissett before the halftime buzzer cut the Tar Heels’ lead to 41-32 and gave the Orange momentum going into the second half.
North Carolina shot 44.6% from the field, compared to 43.1% shooting for Syracuse. The Tar Heels held a 38-34 advantage on the glass, including 15-11 on the offensive boards.
North Carolina was led by Theo Pinson’s career-high 23 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds.
The Orange were led by Tyus Battle who scored 26 points and dished out a career-high 6 assists. Frank Howard poured in 23 points, including five made three pointers. Brissett recorded his eleventh double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Paschal Chukwu grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked 4 shots.
Battle, Howard and Brissett, who all rank in the top ten nationally in minutes played, logged 40 minutes apiece on the night. Battle has now played 40 minutes in nine-straight contests.
Jim Boeheim commented on his team’s performance in his postgame press conference. “We did everything we could to get back in it,” Boeheim said. “Frank, Tyus, and Oshae were tremendous. We got hurt a little bit on the offensive boards, second chance shots in the second half. They [North Carolina] capitalized. These guys played their hearts out, as they have all year long, and again North Carolina is a tremendous team.”
Wednesday’s Carrier Dome attendance of 27,165 was the nation’s largest on-campus crowd this season.
With the loss, Syracuse fell to 18-10 overall, 7-8 in the ACC, while North Carolina improved to 22-7 on the season, 11-5 in conference play.
The Orange will continue to look for their first win against a ranked opponent this season when they travel to Tobacco Road to take on Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday at 6:15pm. The Blue Devils are 23-5 overall, 11-4 in the ACC, and are coming off an 82-56 win over Louisville on Wednesday. Duke is led by Marvin Bagley III who is averaging 21.2 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. Bagley III is day-to-day with a sprained knee and has missed the Blue Devils’ last four games. Last year, Syracuse defeated Duke 78-75 on a three point shot banked in at the buzzer by John Gillon.