|Posted on January 31, 2021 at 8:15 PM|
Article by Dan Tortora
The Syracuse Orange men's basketball team has had a season that has had its big wins, large-margin losses, and coronavirus stoppages.
This has all turned into a 3-4 season inside of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) so far, the exact same record as the visiting N.C. State Wolfpack had at the time of this match-up.
Both teams also had one non-conference loss, giving them each five losses on the season, but Syracuse had played two more games coming into this contest, totaling a record of 9-5 to N.C. State's 7-5.
Wolfpack junior forward Jericole Hellems put the first points on the board for either side on his layup just 27 seconds into the game.
From there, Syracuse and N.C. State would trade the lead back-and-forth seven times in total, with two ties.
Senior guard Braxton Beverly would give the lead back to the Wolfpack on a corner three that made it 22-20 N.C. State.
Shortly after, senior forward/center Marek Dolezaj would fight inside and release high off the glass for two to tie the game at 22 apiece, the third tie of the match-up.
Dolezaj would give the Orange the lead on their next possession, going 1-for-2 at the line to take a 23-22 lead. This would be the ninth lead change of the first half.
The equalizer attempt for Syracuse taken by junior guard Buddy Boeheim in the corner would bounce out, followed by N.C. State making their three in the corner on their next possession, courtesy of freshman guard Shakeel Moore.
Seabron would dunk home his own successful steal immediately after, moving the Wolfpack out to a 34-26 advantage.
Orange junior guard Alan Griffin would connect on a jumper following his steal to bring Syracuse within two possessions, 34-28, but Moore would respond with a layup in traffic to extend N.C. State back out to an eight-point lead.
The first double-digit lead by either side would come on the Wolfpack's next possession when redshirt-sophomore forward Manny Bates slammed it home at the 3:07 mark to elevate his team to a score of 38-28.
True freshman guard Kadary Richmond either scored or assisted Syracuse's final 10 points of the first half, scoring eight points and assisting a make inside by Dolezaj. This came in a span from the 2:19 mark to the closing seconds in the opening half.
His circus make at the rim before the halftime buzzer would get the Orange within single-digits, 47-38, at the break.
Sophomore forward Quincy Guerrier made sure Syracuse was the first to score in the second half, going to the rim 25 seconds out of the break to bring the score to 47-40 N.C. State.
Hellems, who had the first points for the Wolfpack in the first half, did it again in the second half, this time getting the ball off his fingertips before the end of the shot clock on a jumper.
Guerrier would come right back down and go inside once again for two, keeping the Orange within seven, 49-42.
He would account for another make by Syracuse when he fed Dolezaj in the paint who finished for two.
An old-fashioned three-point play by Boeheim would get the Orange within two possessions, 51-47.
Then, a three by Griffin got Syracuse within three, 53-50, with 15:09 to go.
At the media timeout with 14:46 to play, the Orange had doubled the output of the Wolfpack in the second half, 12 points to six.
Coming out of the timeout, Boeheim made a tough turnaround jumper in the paint to bring Syracuse within one, 53-52.
Griffin would tie the game at 54 off of a jumper from the left baseline.
Bates responded quickly on a layup to take the lead back for N.C. State, and Guerrier would respond to the response, tying the game at 56.
Guerrier would come back down the floor for his second-consecutive layup, moving the Orange ahead, 58-56, at the 10:29 mark. This make would move Syracuse out to a 20-9 run to start the second half.
Hellems old-fashioned three-point play would give the lead back to N.C. State, 59-58. The lead would change hands three times after that, on consecutive possessions, off of makes by Syracuse's Griffin, N.C. State's Hellems, and Syracuse's Richmond, with Syracuse leading 62-61 at the 7:43 mark.
There would be two lead changes and a tie from here, with Richmond following with a make inside to give the Orange a 67-65 lead.
Boeheim knocked down a shot from beyond the arc on the team's next possession, elevating the Orange out to a 70-65 advantage with 4:25 to go,
Hellems and Sebron would aid the Wolfpack's attempt at trying to overtake the lead, each scoring to bring them within one, 70-69.
Richmond's layup would advance Syracuse out to a 72-69 lead with 55.3 seconds to play. This would give Richmond 14 points in the contest, on 6-for-7 shooting and 2-for-2 at the line.
Hellems would go 1-for-2 at the charity stripe to get N.C. State within two, 72-70.
The Wolfpack had fouls to give, and they did, eventually putting Dolezaj on the line with 17.7 seconds to go, for a 1-&-1. Dolezaj made both, putting the Orange up 74-70.
With 6.1 seconds to go, Guerrier fouls out, fouling the shooter, redshirt-junior guard Thomas Allen, who would get three freebies down by four.
Allen made all three, shrinking the Wolfpack's deficit to one, 74-73.
Syracuse's Alan... Griffin that is... would make his free throws as well, going 2-for-2 on his 1-&-1 attempt with 4.9 seconds to play.
Freshman guard Cam Hayes' shot would hit the left side of the backboard and time would expire, with the Orange taking the win, 76-73.
The victory gets Syracuse to double-digits on the season, with 10 wins to five losses, and places them back even in the ACC, at 4-4.
With the loss, N.C. State drops to 7-6 overall and 3-5 in the ACC.
Griffin's final two free throws would make him the scoring leader in this game for the Orange with 19, followed by Boeheim with 17, Richmond with 14 off of the bench, Dolezaj with 11, and Guerrier with a double-double, 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Wolfpack got the bulk of their scoring from Hellems, who had 24. Bates would finish with 17 and Beverly with 11.
As a team, Syracuse would out-score N.C. State 38-26 in the second half.