Syracuse falls short at North Carolina, 81-75 (full coverage)

In a game full of wild momentum swings, North Carolina held off Syracuse for an 81-75 win over the Orange at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Tuesday.

Both teams reeled off big scoring runs, especially in the second half, but North Carolina had the final answer, outscoring Syracuse 12-7 in the game’s final three minutes.

Syracuse polished off an 8-0 run with two free throws from Quincy Guerrier to take a 68-67 lead with 3:21 remaining.

But the Tar Heels took over from there.

Syracuse’s record fell to 7-3 overall and 1-2 in the ACC. North Carolina improved to 8-4 for the year and 3-2 in the league.

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Syracuse plays two games on the road this week, starting Tuesday, Jan. 12 at North Carolina. Tip off at the Dean E. Smith Center is set for 9 p.m.

Syracuse (7-2, 1-1) got back to its winning ways with a 74-69 victory against Georgetown on Saturday night. Junior Buddy Boeheim led a group of four Orange to reach double-digits in scoring with a team-high 21 points. Sophomore Joseph Girard III scored 18 points and dished out a season-high eight assists.

The Orange and Tar Heels were originally scheduled to play in Chapel Hill on Jan. 2, but the game was postponed when Syracuse had to pause to COVID-19 safety protocols. The Orange were originally scheduled to host Clemson on Tuesday night, but the Tigers’ program is currently paused after positive COVID-19 test result and subsequent contact tracing within the program.

North Carolina enters Tuesday’s game on a two-game winning streak, which has improved its record to 7-4 overall, 2-2 in ACC play. The Tar Heels have won their previous two games by a total of three points.

Tuesday’s game marks the 19th all-time meeting between the Orange and Tar Heels. North Carolina has a 13-5 advantage in the series.

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