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Syracuse men's basketball searches for first ranked win against No. 23 NC State

Jesse Edwards (Orange, 14) goes up strong against FSU last Wednesday.
Jesse Edwards (Orange, 14) goes up strong against FSU last Wednesday.

Syracuse men’s basketball enters this week with back to back wins. The Orange look to add a third straight win against No. 22 North Carolina State on Tuesday, the first and only game between these two squads this season.

SU’s two game win streak saw two nine-point road victories. Last Saturday, the Cuse beat Boston College 77-68. In that contest, Joe Girard played a pivotal role in the Orange’s victory with 18 points. Later in the week, on Wednesday, Syracuse took down Florida State 76-67. Against the Seminoles, the guard netted 26 points, including a late three pointer to seal the deal for SU.

After the Florida State game, head coach Jim Boeheim said that Girard’s play has gone a long way for Syracuse over the two game stretch.

“We need Joe to play like that,” Boeheim said. “[He’s a] big difference maker out there.”

It isn’t just Girard who’s been hot. Against Boston College, Jesse Edwards put up a career-high 27 points. The big man followed that up with 18 points and 12 rebouds against Florida State.

As for SU’s opponent, NC State enters Tuesday red hot, having won five of its last six games. The Wolfpack currently sit 5th in the ACC standings with a 10-5 conference record (20-6 overall).

NC State has scored the most points amongst ACC teams this season. Leading the charge of that offense is Terquavion Smith. The guard sits second the the conference in points per game with 18.5, and has put up double digit figures in all but one game.

Smith’s backcourt partner, Jarkel Joiner, also sits among the ACC’s top ten scorers averaging 16.2 points per game. In the Wolfpack’s 92-62 win over Boston College on Saturday, the graduate student scored 26 points, including five three pointers.

Syracuse is in dire need of quad 1 and 2 wins if it wants to make the NCAA tournament. Boeheim noted that Tuesday’s contest marks the start of long stretch to notch those key victories.

“We got a lot of great opportunities ahead of us,” Boeheim said. “We just got to get ready to play.”

Gametime between the Orange and Wolfpack is scheduled for 7 p.m. WAER’s coverage begins at 6:30 with McClurg Team Countdown to Tipoff.