Last time they played: No. 24 Syracuse uses strong 2nd half to upset No. 6 North Carolina

first_img Published on January 11, 2014 at 12:39 am Facebook Twitter Google+ It was a game of runs, and Syracuse’s best blow was too much for North Carolina to overcome.Already on a 17-1 run to start the second half Wesley Johnson received a swing pass from Andy Rautins at the top of the key. He then hoisted a shot that presented two possibilities: A make would all but seal a gritty Orange win. A miss would allow the Tar Heels to hold on by a thread.Johnson nailed it and sent a dejectedly defeated North Carolina team into a timeout.“We definitely realized it,” Rautins told The Daily Orange, referencing the team’s second-half dominance. “The momentum in the crowd you could feel it shift every ten minutes or so and you know, it was a great atmosphere to play in.”On the heels of its best stretch of the game, No. 24 Syracuse (4-0) upset No. 6 North Carolina (4-1) 87-71 at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 20, 2009. The win crowned the Orange 2K Sports Classic champions in front of 15,552 fans, and was its best win of a moderately tough nonconference schedule.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textTwo future first-round NBA draft picks led their respective squads in the contest. Johnson paced the Orange with a game-high 25, shooting 10-of-17 from the field and 4-of-8 from 3. Ed Davis collected a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the losing effort.After an 8-0 start by the Orange, UNC clawed back into the game to a 15-12 advantage behind strong play by Davis and point guard Larry Drew II.“We started great but they came right back at us,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “We had another good spurt, they came right back and took the lead at halftime.”The beginning of the first half was a microcosm for a back-and-forth frame.But then Syracuse used halftime to springboard itself to a gutty win. Seconds into the second half Brandon Triche tied the score at 39-39. Then a sharp run, highlighted by post buckets by Arinze Onuaku, pushed SU’s run to 10-1.Then another Triche basket put the run at 15-1 minutes later. The final push was on.“At one point, we were maybe up 19 or 20 and then you tell yourself, well we got this game in the bag,” forward Kris Joseph said.The Orange would get through its nonconference slate unscathed, not losing a game until its second Big East contest against Pittsburgh.Notable nonconference wins against UNC, Florida and California, coupled with a strong showing in the Big East and tough play on both ends of the floor throughout the season, turned into a 30-5 season for Boeheim and Co.Said Rautins: “It’s very tough for teams to beat us when we play aggressive as we do.”compiled by Jesse Dougherty, asst. sports editor, [email protected] Commentslast_img

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