This team is something special. The Orange looked destined to lose its first game of the season after a Tyler Ennis turnover with 15 seconds left. But after a Wolfpack turnover and game-winning layup by C.J. Fair, the Orange are 25-0.
The first half did not go as planned for the Orange. Syracuse only went to the line three times, compared to ten for the Wolfpack. N.C. State also outrebounded the Orange, taking advantage of the lack of depth in the frontcourt.
Boeheim said after the game:
“Baye ran today. I’d say he might be able to go on Wednesday. He has been doing a little bit better.”
Still an unclear answer regarding Baye Moussa Keita’s status going forward but he was warming up with the team before the game.
However, the frontcourt was not the issue for Syracuse. It got a career game from Rakeem Christmas. Christmas finished the night at 14 points, 12 rebounds, 7 blocks and went perfect from the line in all six free-throw attempts. The Philadelphia product kept the Orange in the game until Jerami Grant turned it on in the second half, accumulating 12 points and 14 rebounds.
T.J. Warren contributed 23 points while shooting 50 percent from the field. Kyle Washington had a great night for the Wolfpack with 14 points and 10 boards, most of which came in the first half. Both teams struggled from behind the arc. N.C. State was 4-of-14, while the Orange could only hit two out of the 12 they attempted.
You could get the sense that the Orange felt the pressure of being undefeated even in its own building. Ennis made a few freshman mistakes we have not seen him make, including four turnovers on the night. Said Grant:
“We’ve been figuring out how to win, I feel like if we are in a tough game. It was a little unusual. We had a couple of mistakes at the end of the game. At the same time, we had them locked down on defense. Our defense forced two turnovers in the last minute when we were down. We always look to our defense to pull us through.”
The past two games have had incredible endings for the Orange. However, this game proved there is a lot of work that needs to be done if Syracuse wants to remain undefeated, especially on the road.
Posted by: Zephan Mayell