SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP)Madison Hayes hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 3:11 remaining and No. 6 North Carolina State withstood a second-half rally to beat Syracuse 56-54 on Sunday night.
Georgia Woolley of Syracuse had a chance tie the game with five seconds to go, but converted just one of two free throws to cut the deficit to a point at 55-54. The teams traded turnovers in the final seconds and the Wolfpack’s Saniya Rivers hit a free throw with one second left for the final margin.
Camille Hobby scored 12 points to lead the Wolfpack (12-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their sixth straight against Syracuse and bounced back from a loss to unranked Duke on Thursday.
Despite the win, N.C State coach Wes Moore says he is frustrated and embarrassed and that the Wolfpack have a lot to fix.
”I’m embarrassed. I’m a maniac right now,” Moore said.” It’s just frustrating. We can be a really good team. We’re not anywhere near right now to be the kind of team we could be, but thankfully we survived it.
”But I’m not about not enjoying a win. I’m not going to do that. It’s a different year. We have a lot to learn. A lot to fix, but I’m thankful they found a way to pull it out in the fourth quarter and now we get a couple of days to try and fix some things.”
Woolley led Syracuse (10-4, 1-2) with 23 points, and Dyaisha Fair added 14.
”It was a game of runs. Our runs just had to be bigger than theirs because we were behind,” Syracuse coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. ”Today, the best team won.
”But my team showed me resiliency. Oneness. We stuck together. Today was evidence that we’re coming. We didn’t win, but we did win.”
Both teams shot poorly and were sloppy with the ball against pressure defenses. The Wolfpack hit 33% from the field, just 2 of 17 from long distance and turned the ball over 19 times. The Orange shot 31% overall, 24% from 3 and committed 20 turnovers.
N.C State used a 13-2 run in the first quarter to jump out to a 19-7 lead, but the Orange, led by Woolley, outscored the Wolfpack 23-6 in the third quarter and took a 49-40 lead heading into the fourth.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Wolfpack, who outscored the Orange 16-5, including 13 straight to start the final 10 minutes. Hobby helped extend N.C. State’s lead with a short jumper and layup for a 55-51 advantage with 1:29 left.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack narrowly avoided disaster and needs to figure out how to withstand defensive pressure.
Syracuse: The Orange showed a lot of grit and that they can’t be counted out against a ranked opponent.
The Wolfpack will take a tumble after a home loss to unranked Duke and Sunday’s near loss.
DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH
N.C. State played its fourth game in a row without scoring leader Diamond Johnson (13.9 ppg), who sustained an ankle injury Dec. 11 against South Florida.
NOT SEEING DOUBLE
Syracuse’s Dyaisha Fair failed to register a double-double for the first time this season, falling four rebounds short.
N.C. State: Host Boston College on Thursday.
Syracuse: Wraps up a two-game homestand against Pitt on Thursday.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25