NC State, at undefeated and No. 1 Syracuse, played the Orange close throughout and had a good chance to win at the end but instead turned the ball over leading to a winning Syracuse layup with seven seconds left.
The Wolfpack’s TJ Warren threw up a three that hit the front of the rim and bounded away, and Syracuse escaped at home by a 56-55 score.
The Pack trailed 52-51 when Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis fouled State’s Ralston Turner as he was shooting a three. Turner, an average free throw shooter at best, drained all three foul shots to put State up 54-52 with just 1:02 left.
Syracuse’s CJ Fair drew a foul with 41 seconds left but hit only one of the two free throws to leave State still up, 55-54.
But State made mistakes to help Syracuse. First, Desmond Lee dribbled the ball off his foot out of bounds after a Syracuse double-team. The Pack got a break of their own when Syracuse’s Ennis pushed off with just 15 seconds left, giving the ball back to State.
After a Syracuse foul, that the State bench thought should have been a continuation bucket by Warren and a free throw, the Wolfpack needed to inbound it and eat clock. Instead, Syracuse’s Rakeem Christmas came up with a steal. Ennis passed to Fair, who went in for a layup with less than seven seconds to go. The ball went in and bounced out because of a State basket interference.
The Wolfpack falls to 16-9 overall, 6-6 in ACC.