Syracuse wins defensive battle with North Carolina
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — When James Michael McAdoo gave North Carolina an early boost against No. 2 Syracuse, the Tar Heels seemed ready to escape from their recent funk. The Orange defense had other ideas.
Deflecting passes and diving for loose balls all over the court, Syracuse beat North Carolina 57-45 on Saturday in an Atlantic Coast Conference marquee matchup as forwards C.J. Fair and Jerami Grant combined for 32 points and 20 rebounds.
Remarkably, the Orange shot a season-low 35 percent and won handily, leading by as many as 19 late in the second half.
“This was a defensive-effort game,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “We got loose balls. We made a lot of really good hustle plays. We got on the floor. That was the difference.”
Syracuse (16-0, 3-0 ACC) evened its record against North Carolina (10-6, 0-3) to 4-4. UNC started 0-2 in ACC play three times in the past five years and five times overall, and the loss to Syracuse equaled the worst conference start in school history set in 1996-97, Dean Smith’s final year as head coach.
Other Top 10 games
No. 6 Wichita St. 72, at Missouri St. 69 (OT)
Cleanthony Early had 22 points and 14 rebounds and Wichita State (17-0) rallied from a 19-point second-half deficit, knocking off Missouri State in overtime.
Fred VanVleet scored 12 of the Shockers’ last 13 points, including a tying free throw with eight seconds left in regulation.
At No. 5 Mich. State 87, Minnesota 75 (OT)
Keith Appling scored 24 points to help Michigan State beat Minnesota after overcoming a double-digit deficit in the second half and blowing a lead late in regulation. The Spartans (15-1, 4-0 Big Ten) scored 15 straight points while holding the Golden Gophers (13-4, 2-2) scoreless for nearly eight minutes after trailing 53-43 with 15:57 left.
At No. 7 Baylor 88, Texas Christian 62
Taurean Prince scored 15 of his career-high 23 points off the bench when Baylor (13-2, 1-1 Big 12) took control before halftime and went on to a victory over instate rival TCU (9-6, 0-3).
No. 8 Villanova 74, at St. John’s 67
JayVaughn Pinkston had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Villanova (15-1, 4-0 Big East) overcame some early shooting woes to beat St. John’s (9-6, 0-3).
At Oklahoma 87, No. 9 Iowa State 82
Buddy Hield scored 22 points and Ryan Spangler had 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to help Oklahoma knock off previously unbeaten Iowa State. Isaiah Cousins added 17 points for the Sooners (13-3, 2-1 Big 12), who ended No. 9 Iowa State’s school-best winning streak at 14 games.
No. 10 Florida 84, at Arkansas 82 (OT)
Dorian Finney-Smith scored a career-high 22 points as Florida (13-2, 2-0 SEC) overcame the absence of leading scorer Casey Prather to snap Arkansas’ 23-game home winning streak.
• Justin Cobbs scored 20 second-half points and sparked California to an 88-83 Pac-12 victory at Oregon State. Cobbs, held scoreless in the first half, made 6 of 9 shots field goals and 7 of 8 free throws after intermission and the Bears (12-4, 3-0 Pac-12) rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit. Roberto Nelson scored 26 for the Beavers (9-7, 1-3).
• Tyler Harvey led a balanced offense with 19 points as Eastern Washington (7-8, 2-2 Big Sky) handed Montana State (8-7, 3-1) its first conference loss, 77-72.