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Syracuse men’s basketball takes care of NC State 77-65 during Dave Bing ceremony

Syracuse guard JJ Starling (2, white) celebrates after a made basket in SU's win over NC State.
Syracuse guard JJ Starling (2, white) celebrates after a made basket in SU's win over NC State.

After Syracuse men’s basketball (14-6, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) shot 1-14 from three against Florida State Tuesday, things could only go up for SU Saturday against NC State (13-7, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference). It’s safe to say things went in that direction as the Orange hunted down the Wolfpack 77-65 inside the JMA Wireless Dome.

From the very beginning it was Syracuse guard JJ Starling who put SU in the lead. The sophomore scored the Orange’s first ten points, and went 4-6 from the field in five minutes. When the first half concluded, the guard had 14 of Syracuse’s 38 points.

“JJ was phenomenal … he’s been confident. I think he and Judah are starting to gel a bit,” SU head coach Adrian Autry said after the game.

Orange forward Chris Bell was also dominant in the first half. The sophomore connected on a trio of three pointers that resulted in a quick 11-2 run that put Syracuse in the driver's seat. Once the first half buzzer sounded, Bell had 11 points. The forward finished with 13 on the night.

While Starling and Bell had the hot hand from the opening tip, it took Orange guard Judah Mintz a while to get going. The Maryland native missed his first five shots, including one free throw. Despite that, the sophomore stayed aggressive and got to the foul line several times towards the waning minutes of the first half. After the opening 20 minutes, Mintz had six made free throws.

In the second half, the sophomore began to heat up. The guard scored 12 of his 20 points in the final 20 minutes, and made a season high 14 free throws. Defensively, Mintz also assisted Syracuse with four steals.

On the opposing side, NC State’s offense struggled heavily. After a tied 18-18 score midway through the first half, the Wolfpack’s offense disappeared. NC State scored just four points in the last eight minutes of the first frame. In the second half, the offense returned as the Wolfpack poured in 43 points, but by then it was too late. SU was in rhythm and had all the confidence it needed to pull away. By the game’s end, NC State shot just 35.8% from the field and only 32% from long range.

During the postgame press conference, coach Autry praised his squad’s effort on the defensive end, saying “I thought the game was won in the first half with our defense. That was the best defense we played all year … holding them to 22 points was key.”

SU’s defense was stellar tonight. Besides only holding the Wolfpack to 22 points, the Orange kicked off the game with three steals in the first eight minutes. When it was all said and done, six Syracuse players tallied a steal and SU had ten total.

The ACC matchup wasn’t the only thing that took place tonight inside the JMA Wireless Dome. At halftime, former Syracuse star guard Dave Bing was inducted into the Ring of Honor. Bing played three seasons on SU’s varsity team and led the Orange in scoring all three years. In his senior season, he averaged 28.4 points per game, the highest single-season scoring average in program history. Bing led the team to a 22-6 record in the 1965-1966 season and reached the East Finals of the NCAA tournament.

Former Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim (right) puts Ring of Honor jacket on Dave Bing (left) at halftime of SU's win over NC State.
Former Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim (right) puts Ring of Honor jacket on Dave Bing (left) at halftime of SU's win over NC State.

Former Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim stated the impact Dave Bing had on SU.

“He’s the only guy that completely changed the direction of the program …he’s the best player that’s ever played here,” said Boeheim.

Bing’s career lasted into the NBA where he played for 12 years, became a seven-time all-star, won a scoring title in the 1967-1968 season, and won the 1975-1976 All-Star Game MVP. After his playing days were over, the guard was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990, and was named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1997 and a part of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team in 2022.

With a statement win and a new member of the Ring of Honor, Syracuse hits the road Tuesday to visit Boston College (12-8, 3-6 ACC), a team it met up with earlier this season. On January 10th, the Orange beat the Eagles 69-59 at home behind forward Chris Bell’s 20 points. WAER has all the coverage of Tuesday’s game starting with McClurg Remodeling Countdown to Tipoff at 6:30 for the 7 p.m. contest.