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'Cuse goes down to wire again

Syracuse’s Rakeem Christmas, left, steals the ball from N. C. State’s Kyle Washington, middle, to set up the winning basket.

Associated Press

Syracuse’s Rakeem Christmas, left, steals the ball from N. C. State’s Kyle Washington, middle, to set up the winning basket.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse's streak lives on.

Barely. Again.

With its key players struggling, the top-ranked Orange used its defense to remain unbeaten, edging North Carolina State 56-55 on C.J. Fair's layup with 6.7 seconds left Saturday night.

Rakeem Christmas started the winning sequence with a steal in the lane off a trap in the left corner, and Fair finished it with a layup in transition. Christmas had 14 points and set career highs with 12 rebounds and seven blocks.

"We got out of it by making a good play at the end," Orange coach Jim Boeheim said. "We were able to make some good plays finally at the end, and one big play."

Syracuse (25-0, 12-0 ACC) was coming off a dramatic last-second victory at No. 25 Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. The Orange earned its 10th single-digit win despite shooting 35.2 percent.

Syracuse is the first No. 1 team to win back-to-back games by two points or fewer since North Carolina in 1981-82, the Elias Sports Bureau said. The Tar Heels went on to win the national title.

"They're terrific," N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said of Syracuse. "Obviously, when you have a year like they're having, when you're undefeated, you're going to have some close ones, some not-so-close ones. We just tried to prepare for them as best we could, and I thought our guys did a great job."

NO. 5 SAN DIEGO ST. 64, AIR FORCE 56: Winston Shepard scored 14 of his 16 in the final 7:14 as the host Aztecs (22-2, 11-1 Mountain West) bounced back from their first loss since mid November.

NO. 7 KANSAS 95, TCU 65: Perry Ellis scored a career-high 32 and the host Jayhawks (19-6, 10-2 Big 12) overcame a sluggish start.

NO. 8 DUKE 69, MARYLAND 67: Jabari Parker scored 23 for the Blue Devils (20-5, 9-3 ACC), who started a run of four games in eight nights by giving Maryland a loss in its last scheduled visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium.

NO. 10 Cincinnati 73, HOUSTON 62: Sean Kilpatrick scored 28 and Justin Jackson had 13, all in the second half, to lead the host Bearcats (23-3, 12-1 American Athletic).

NO. 11 IOWA ST. 70, TEXAS TECH 64: DeAndre Kane had 17 points and nine assists for the host Cyclones (19-5, 7-5 Big 12), who hung on after blowing an 18-point second-half lead.

NO. 12 ST. LOUIS 64, VCU 62: Dwayne Evans had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the host Billikens (23-2, 10-0 Atlantic 10), who broke a late tie with seven straight points and held on for their 17th straight victory.

NO. 16 IOWA 82, PENN ST. 70: Melsahn Basabe scored 16 for the Hawkeyes (19-6, 8-4), who won their fourth Big Ten road game of the season and third in a row.

NO. 17 UVA 63, CLEMSON 58: Joe Harris scored 16 and hit a critical 3-pointer with about three minutes left, and visiting Virginia (21-5, 12-1) won its ninth straight ACC game for the first time in 32 years.

NO. 19 TEXAS 88, W. VA. 71: Javan Felix scored 18 to lead five players in double figures for the host Longhorns (20-5, 9-3 Big 12).

NO. 22 OHIO ST. 48, ILLINOIS 39: Aaron Craft scored 14 for the visiting Buckeyes (20-6, 7-6 Big Ten), who held the Illini to 28.3 percent shooting.

NO. 24 UCONN 86, NO. 20 MEMPHIS 81, OT: Shabazz Napier scored a career-high 34, Ryan Boatright had 21, eight in overtime, and the host Huskies (20-5, 8-4 American Athletic) swept the season series from the Tigers (19-6, 8-4).

UNC 75, NO. 25 PITT 71: James Michael McAdoo had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the host Tar Heels, who fought off a late push from the Panthers (20-6, 8-5 ACC) to win their season-best sixth straight.

PURDUE 82, INDIANA 64: Sterling Carter had 19 points and hit five 3-pointers for the host Boilermakers (15-10, 5-7 Big Ten), who handed the Hoosiers (14-11, 4-8) their third straight loss.

VA. TECH 52, Miami 45: C.J. Barksdale scored 12 and Devin Wilson got all 12 of his in the final 3:37 as the host Hokies ended a 10-game skid. The Hurricanes (12-13, 3-9 ACC) made 15 of 58 shots from the field.

DELAWARE ST. 79, B-CU 67: Tyshawn Bell had 21 points and 10 rebounds as the visiting Hornets pulled away from the Wildcats (6-22, 4-9 MEAC).

FAMU 82, COPPIN ST. 71: Reggie Lewis scored 24, including six 3-pointers, and the host Rattlers (9-16, 5-7 MEAC) overpowered the Eagles in the second half.

TAMPA 66, LYNN 60: Da'Markco Foster had 13 points and Eric Moraes hit a crucial dunk with 4:58 left to lift the visiting Spartans (15-7, 8-5 Sunshine State).

ECKERD 85, BARRY 83: Malcolm Brunner's layup with one second left lifted the visiting Tritons (14-10, 6-6 SSC).

LATE FRIDAY: Getting big plays from Jermaine Marshall and Jordan Bachynski, host Arizona State grinded out a 69-66 double-overtime victory over No. 2 Arizona (23-2, 10-2 Pac-12). "No words can explain the joy that we feel right now," Sun Devils center Jordan Bachynski said. "That is huge for us … for our resume, for our goals of (playing in a) postseason tournament."

Women

BYU 62, NO. 20 GONZAGA 52: Jennifer Hamson scored 18 of her 20 in the second half for the host Cougars, who ended the Bulldogs' 13-game winning streak and kept Gonzaga (23-4, 13-2) from clinching a 10th straight West Coast Conference title.

NO. 24 ST. JOHN'S 69, VILLANOVA 56: Aliyyah Handford scored 25 and Amber Thompson had a career-high 17 rebounds to lead the host Red Storm (19-5, 12-1 Big East).

NO. 25 MICH. ST. 70, OHIO ST. 49: Annalise Pickrel had 17 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for the host Spartans (17-8, 9-3 Big Ten).

TAMPA 69, LYNN 44: Juliana Cavallaro had 13 points and a career-high 10 rebounds for the visiting Spartans (18-5, 11-2 SSC), who won their 10th straight to move into first place.

BARRY 72, ECKERD 67: Tyler Hardy's layup with 29 seconds left lifted the host Buccaneers after the Tritons (9-13, 2-10 SSC) had erased an 18-point deficit.

'Cuse goes down to wire again 02/15/14 [Last modified: Saturday, February 15, 2014 11:51pm]

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