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.
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.