Fair’s Layup Saves Orange, Improve to 25-0

The Syracuse Orange pulled out another exciting victory at the Carrier Dome Saturday night against North Carolina State, as a C.J. Fair layup with six seconds left gave the Orange a 56-55 win to remain unbeaten.

Feb 15, 2014; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Tyler Ennis (11) on a break away basket during the second half of a game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won the game 56-55. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The win gives the Orange their 25th on the year and their 12th conference win. Rakeem Christmas led the way for the Orange with his first double-double on the season, tallying 14 points and 12 rebounds. He also had a season-high seven blocks. Fair had 11 points on just 5-16 shooting and Jerami Grant scored 12 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for his sixth double-double on the year. T.J. Warren led all scorers with 23 points for the Wolfpack.

The first half between the two teams was back-and-forth, consisting of five lead changes and seven ties. The score heading into halftime was tied at 26. The Wolfpack led for 11:45 seconds in the second half, leading by as much as five at a point. It was a Ralston Turner three-pointer that gave them a 50-45 lead with 6:25 left. The Orange then scored six straight points to take a 51-50 lead, the first lead change of five in the last three and a half minutes.

The Orange had a 53-52 lead with 1:02 left in the game when Tyler Ennis fouled Turner from behind the three-point line. The 63 percent free throw shooter calmly hit all three free throws to give the Wolfpack a two-point lead. Fair had a chance to tie the game with 41 seconds left from the charity stripe but made just one of two shots. The Orange then forced a turnover with 20 seconds left, but Ennis gave the ball right back with an offensive foul, his first turnover of the season with less than five minutes left in a one possession game. After a Trevor Cooney foul, Christmas stole the ball on the ensuing Wolfpak possession and quickly started a fast break on a pass to Ennis, who then passed it to Fair for the go-ahead layup with six seconds left. A missed jumper by Warren ended the game, and Syracuse pulled out another late victory.

The Orange looked a little sluggish all game. They shot 35.2 percent from the field, their second worst mark on the season. They also hit just two of their 12 three-point attempts. The Orange did make 16 of their 22 free throw attempts and out rebounded the Wolfpack 37-36. They also held the Wolfpack to just 4-14 from beyond the arc.

Wolfpack center Kyle Washington had an affective game, scoring 14 points on 7-11 shooting, ten points above his season average. Ralston Turner added 13 points and made three of his team’s four three-pointers. The starting backcourt for Syracuse struggled this game. Cooney and Ennis shot just a combined 6-20 and 2-8 from beyond the arc. They combined for just two steals, but the tandem averages a combined 4.2 per game on the season. Ennis’ four turnovers tied a career high in that category.

The undefeated Orange will play their next game on Wednesday against Boston College in the Carrier Dome. Tip is at 7 p.m. ET.


Topics: C.J. Fair, Jerami Grant, Kyle Washington, North Carolina State Wolfpack, Rakeem Christmas, Ralston Turner, Syracuse Orange, T.J. Warren, Trevor Cooney, Tyler Ennis

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