Syracuse Basketball: Orange Fend Off Upset and Remain Undefeated and No. 1

Robert Pace@Robert_PaceContributor IIIDecember 18, 2011

RALEIGH--At moments it appeared as though Syracuse (11-0) would be the next No. 1 to follow in the upset footsteps of former No. 1's like North Carolina and Kentucky. 

NC State (6-4) held a lead of up to eight points for a good portion of the first half with the crowd roaring in the excitement of a possible upset. 

Syracuse then captured the lead with three shots from behind the arc, and did not surrender the lead for the rest of the game, winning 88-72. 

Despite facing a 14-point deficit at the half, NC State came out hard in the second half and was able to tie the game at 50 with only five minutes passing off the clock. 

The game remained close until Scoop Jardine, who had been quiet offensively up until that point, sparked an Orange run by nailing two three-pointers. He would finish the game with 16 points and four assists. 

Syracuse then dominated the game, extending the lead to as much as 18. 

Top Performers

Syracuse:

Dion Waiters: 22 PTS 2 AST 1 STL

Kris Joseph: 21 PTS 5 REB 1 BLK

Scoop Jardine: 16 PTS 4 AST 3 REB

NC State:

C.J. Williams: 25 PTS 2 AST 3 REB

C.J. Leslie: 13 PTS 6 REB 2 BLK

Lorenzo Brown: 10 PTS 13 AST 6 REB

Game Breaker:

Turnovers: NC State: 18; Syracuse: 8

What's Next:

The Orange won't be challenged in their next five games. Their two remaining non-conference games are against Bucknell and Tulane, and then Syracuse will take on Seton Hall, DePaul, and Providence for their first three Big East conference games. 

Syracuse should be able to boost their record to 16-0 before taking on undefeated No. 11 Marquette (10-0), who upset No. 7 earlier in the year. 

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