NCST
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Johnson's 3-pointer lifts NC State over Syracuse, 74-70

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) The ball felt great coming out of the hands of North Carolina State guard Sam Hunt, and now the Syracuse Orange has its hands full trying to make the NCAA tournament.

Markell Johnson's 3-pointer from the top of the key with 33 seconds to go broke a 70-70 tie and North Carolina State (17-9, 7-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) went on to defeat Syracuse (17-9, 6-7) 74-70 Wednesday, but it was Hunt's four 3-pointers in the second half that put the Wolfpack in position to pull off a huge road win and build its NCAA tournament resume in a game that was huge for both teams who reside squarely on the NCAA bubble.

Allerik Freeman led the Wolfpack with 17 points and Johnson had 16. The Wolfpack, who broke a two-game losing streak, had seven 3s in the final 20 minutes on just 13 attempts.

Syracuse was led by Oshae Brissett, who had a game-high 25 points, including 18 in the second half. Tyus Battle had 17 on just 5-of-14 shooting, including 0-of-4 from 3, and Frank Howard had 16.

NC State took a 41-39 lead on a jumper by Freeman with 16:52 to go, but Syracuse went on an 8-0 run to take a 47-41 lead with 13:29 remaining. The Wolfpack responded with five straight and then closed to 49-48 on a short jumper by Torin Dorn. Syracuse scored the next five to extend to a 54-48 lead but the Wolfpack answered again with eight straight points. Hunt's first 3 brought the Wolfpack within three, Torin Dorn's jumper made it 54-53 and Freeman's 3-point play with 8:23 remaining gave the Wolfpack a 56-54 lead.

Syracuse tied the game at 56 on a floater by Howard but 3-pointers by Hunt and Freeman gave the Wolfpack a 62-58 margin with 6:09 to go. NC State extended its margin to 70-62 on a Freeman layup and two more 3-pointers by Hunt. The Orange scored the next eight in a span of 1:47 to tie the game at 70 on two 3s by Brissett and a left-handed layup by Battle. Brissett's 3 tied the game with 1:02 to go.

''My teammates were able to find me,'' Hunt said. ''They penetrated the gaps and found open spots for me in the zone and luckily I was able to make some shots. It felt good. It felt good coming out of my hands.''

''I thought this was a gutsy win for our team,'' North Carolina State coach Kevin Keatts said. ''Anytime you can get a road win in the ACC it's huge. I thought we did a great job in the second half finding some gaps in the zone and we made some plays. Sam Hunt came off the bench and made some huge shots.''

For Syracuse, it was another lost opportunity, and another game where SU defenders lost track of a hot 3-point shooter.

''The game was decided because we didn't get to the 3-point shooters three times in the last five or six possessions,'' Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. ''We gave them really good looks from the 3 and they're a good shooting team and they made them. In the first half I thought we did a much better job covering the 3-point line. In the second half, we didn't and that was the difference in the game.'' The Wolfpack was just 3-of-10 from beyond the arc in the first half.

The first half was a foul-plagued, turnover-filled affair. The teams combined for 20 fouls and 20 turnovers, with Syracuse scoring 16 points off Wolfpack miscues and 32 in the game. The Orange had a 26-20 lead with just over seven minutes to go when NC State went on a 10-0 run to take a 30-26 lead. Freeman hit a layup with seconds to go in the half, giving the Wolfpack a 35-32 lead at the break.

BIG PICTURE:

With a matchup against bottom-feeder Wake Forest on Saturday, North Carolina State can build on its resume.

Syracuse's loss puts the Orange squarely behind the eight-ball with consecutive games against Miami and North Carolina.

UP NEXT:

North Carolina State visits Wake Forest Saturday.

Syracuse hits the road for a Saturday afternoon matchup against Miami.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Defensive rebound by Omer Yurtseven 0.0
  Marek Dolezaj missed jump shot 0.0
  Offensive rebound by Marek Dolezaj 0.0
  Tyus Battle missed 3-pt. jump shot 0.0
  Defensive rebound by Oshae Brissett 6.0
  Omer Yurtseven missed 2nd of 2 free throws 6.0
+ 1 Omer Yurtseven made 1st of 2 free throws 6.0
  Personal foul on Oshae Brissett 6.0
  Defensive rebound by Omer Yurtseven 7.0
  Frank Howard missed 2nd of 2 free throws 7.0
  Frank Howard missed 1st of 2 free throws 7.0
Team Stats
Points 74 70
Field Goals 27-49 (55.1%) 23-44 (52.3%)
3-Pointers 10-23 (43.5%) 5-14 (35.7%)
Free Throws 10-13 (76.9%) 19-27 (70.4%)
Total Rebounds 23 25
Offensive 7 9
Defensive 13 14
Team 3 2
Assists 17 15
Steals 5 11
Blocks 3 3
Turnovers 17 14
Fouls 26 16
Technicals 1 1
17 PTS, 3 REB, 5 AST
25 PTS, 7 REB
12T
away team logo NC State 17-9 353974
home team logo Syracuse 17-9 323870
Team Stats
away team logo NC State 17-9 81.0 PPG 39.5 RPG 16.3 APG
home team logo Syracuse 17-9 68.9 PPG 41.6 RPG 11.4 APG
Key Players
12
A. Freeman G 14.8 PPG 4.2 RPG 2.5 APG 36.3 FG%
11
O. Brissett F 14.8 PPG 9.1 RPG 1.0 APG 35.3 FG%
Top Scorers
A. Freeman G 17 PTS 3 REB 5 AST
O. Brissett F 25 PTS 7 REB 0 AST
55.1 FG% 52.3
43.5 3PT FG% 35.7
76.9 FT% 70.4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
A. Freeman 39 17 3 5 1 0 2 2 7/14 2/7 1/1 1 2
M. Johnson 30 16 5 5 2 0 3 5 6/10 2/5 2/3 2 3
T. Dorn 21 8 1 0 0 0 4 3 3/5 0/1 2/2 1 0
O. Yurtseven 29 7 6 0 0 1 4 3 2/5 0/0 3/4 2 4
B. Beverly 29 6 1 3 1 0 0 3 2/4 2/3 0/0 0 1
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
A. Freeman 39 17 3 5 1 0 2 2 7/14 2/7 1/1 1 2
M. Johnson 30 16 5 5 2 0 3 5 6/10 2/5 2/3 2 3
T. Dorn 21 8 1 0 0 0 4 3 3/5 0/1 2/2 1 0
O. Yurtseven 29 7 6 0 0 1 4 3 2/5 0/0 3/4 2 4
B. Beverly 29 6 1 3 1 0 0 3 2/4 2/3 0/0 0 1
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
S. Hunt 25 14 0 0 0 0 0 3 5/7 4/6 0/0 0 0
L. Freeman 11 4 2 0 0 1 1 3 1/2 0/0 2/2 0 2
A. Abu 5 2 1 0 0 1 1 3 1/1 0/0 0/0 1 0
L. Batts Jr. 11 0 1 4 1 0 2 1 0/1 0/1 0/1 0 1
S. Newman - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 74 20 17 5 3 17 26 27/49 10/23 10/13 7 13
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
O. Brissett 31 25 7 0 3 0 3 4 8/13 4/7 5/6 2 5
T. Battle 40 17 0 3 1 0 2 2 5/14 0/4 7/8 0 0
F. Howard 40 16 3 6 3 0 4 3 6/10 1/3 3/6 1 2
P. Chukwu 20 2 2 0 1 2 0 2 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 2
M. Dolezaj 36 2 6 5 2 1 2 4 1/4 0/0 0/0 4 2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
O. Brissett 31 25 7 0 3 0 3 4 8/13 4/7 5/6 2 5
T. Battle 40 17 0 3 1 0 2 2 5/14 0/4 7/8 0 0
F. Howard 40 16 3 6 3 0 4 3 6/10 1/3 3/6 1 2
P. Chukwu 20 2 2 0 1 2 0 2 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 2
M. Dolezaj 36 2 6 5 2 1 2 4 1/4 0/0 0/0 4 2
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
M. Moyer 28 8 4 1 1 0 1 0 2/2 0/0 4/6 1 3
B. Sidibe 5 0 1 0 0 0 2 1 0/0 0/0 0/1 1 0
A. Autry - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Belbey - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Feldman - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Bayer - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Featherston - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Herlihy - - - - - - - - - - - - -
H. Washington - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 70 23 15 11 3 14 16 23/44 5/14 19/27 9 14