Self-inflicted mistakes would prove costly as the NC State Wolfpack committed 20 turnovers on their way to a 77-68 loss to the Syracuse Orange Tuesday evening inside PNC Arena.
With the loss, the Wolfpack fall to 8-8 overall and 4-7 in the ACC while the Orange improve to 11-6 overall and 5-5 in ACC action.
Syracuse edged NC State in overall field goal percentage at 47-44 and also three-point percentage at 47 to 42. The Orange were able to capitalize on the 20 Wolfpack turnovers turning them into 21 points.
Facing Syracuse’s tough zone defense, NC State started the contest hitting the outside shots forced by the Orange. Thomas Allen and Cam Hayes connected on early outside shots for the Wolfpack but still saw themselves behind on the scoreboard 9-8 at the first media timeout. NC State pushed ahead 16-14 at the next break with 11:46 left in the first half with the help of a few baskets from DJ Funderburk who missed the first meeting between the two.
Manny Bates added a 10-foot baseline jumper followed by another three from Hayes pushed NC State ahead 23-18 with 8:00 on the clock. Syracuse responded with a 7-2 run to tie the score at 25 each with just over 5:00 left before the half. After going ahead three, a quick 6-0 Syracuse run forced a quick Wolfpack timeout as they trailed 31-28.
Another NC State turnover led to an open three pushing the Orange run to 9 straight before a three-point play from Funderburk trimmed the NC State deficit to 34-31. Two more free throws just before the half made the score 34-33 after the first 20 minutes in favor of Syracuse.
Syracuse feasted off a few early NC State turnovers to extend their lead to 40-34. Braxton Beverly was fouled shooting a three and converted all three free throws to slice into the Orange lead before Buddy Boeheim’s three-point play pushed the Syracuse lead back to six at 43-37 with 15:58 left in regulation.
Beverly added a three followed by two Funderburk free throws to tie the game at 45 all with just over 14 minutes left. Syracuse responded to go ahead 55-46 before a corner three from Allen stopped the Orange run. Both teams traded baskets as Syracuse held a 59-51 lead with 10:44 on the clock.
Bates scored inside to trim the Orange lead to four before Syracuse answered with timely back-to-back three-point baskets to extend their lead to 65-55 with 8:17 left. The Wolfpack responded with a 7-0 run to cut the Syracuse lead to three at 65-62 before the Orange answered with an 8-2 run extended their lead to 73-64 with just 2:48 left in the game. NC State would be unable to trim into the lead any more as Syracuse eased to the nine-point road victory.
Allen finished with a season-high 17 points followed by 14 points from Funderburk. Hellems completed the double-figure scorers with 11 points. Allan Griffin from Syracuse led all scorers with 22 points. Buddy Boeheim added 16 points with 13 of those coming in the second half.
NC State returns to PNC Arena Saturday as they hose the Duke Blue Devils. Tipoff is slated for 4 pm.