Syracuse edges out No. 23 NC State 75-72
Syracuse buckled up down the stretch in front of a home crowd in the JMA Wireless dome and defeated a ranked opponent for the first time since March 21, 2021. The last ranked victory came against #13 West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament with a score of… 75-72.
“We made a couple plays right at the end and that was the difference,” Jim Boeheim said following the game.
The Cuse have been known to fizzle out down the stretch this season, most notably against North Carolina and Virginia. However, the Orange played tighter in the final few minutes as of late. They closed out last game over Florida State and tonight against NC State.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Wolfpack secured five offensive rebounds in the first eight minutes. NC State went on a 9-0 run halfway through the first and took a 17-10 advantage. Syracuse responded with a 6-0 run as Chris Bell threw it down to put the Orange ahead 25-24 with over three minutes remaining in the first half. Judah Mintz shared the rock in the first half and posted six assists. Syracuse led 35-31 over NC State at the break.
Midway through the second half, Jesse Edwards attempted his first career three-pointer. With 9:07 remaining and the shot clock expiring, Edwards hucked up a triple and drained it to keep the Orange in front 59-54.
"[I'm] one of the best shooters on the team right now," Edwards jokingly said postgame. "I shot it and I hoped that all my prayers went up and the dome went crazy. Especially in a close game, it was perfect.”
The Wolfpack hung around and NC State’s Terquavion Smith answered with two triples down the stretch. NC State led 68-67 with over three minutes remaining. Then, Edwards secured a three point play with less than two minutes to go and put SU back in front 73-70. Syracuse held on and finally closed out a ranked opponent in exciting fashion.
Edwards was a big factor tonight for Syracuse. Not only did he score 18 points, the 6’11 senior grabbed 16 rebounds. This performance marked Edwards’ 11th double-double this season. In fact, all five starters for Syracuse scored in double figures. Girard finished with 14, Chris Bell recorded 11, and Maliq Brown had 10 points.
Judah Mintz scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half, including a key jumper down the stretch.
“We made a couple plays right at the end and that was the difference in this game,” Jim Boeheim said.
When asked about closing out NC State versus North Carolina and Virginia, Jim Boeheim responded:
“We did make some plays in those games. We just didn’t make enough," Boeheim said. "We’re making more now. These are high level games. You’re going to win some. You’re going to lose some. They’re tough to win against these teams.”
This contest marked the only matchup between NC State and Syracuse this season. Following the win, Syracuse sits in eighth place in the ACC standings with a record of 16-10. The Orange are riding a three game win streak at the moment and carry momentum into Saturday’s big game in the JMA Wireless Dome.
“We’ve won three games in a row so we’ve been ignited. We just got to keep playing and get ready for the next game,” Boeheim said.
After a series of press conference walk outs and flamed conversations, Jim Boeheim threw in a couple laughs towards the end of the presser when asked about Coach K. This will be the first time that Mike Krzyzewski will not be standing in front of the opposing bench.
“I worry about their players, I don’t worry about Coach K," Boeheim said. "He hasn’t scored in a long time. They have really good players and that’s what we’ll be looking at.”
The Orange welcome Duke inside the dome on Saturday with tip-off slated for 6:00.
Syracuse athletics has big matchups coming up for men's basketball and men's lacrosse. Gary Gait's crew plays at ninth-ranked Maryland at 1:00. WAER’s coverage of McClurg Team Countdown to faceoff starts at 12:30. Then right here in the Dome, Jim Boeheim and company welcome Duke at 6:00. McClurg Team Countdown to tipoff begins at 5:30.