Syracuse, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - C.J. Fair's layup with 6.7 seconds left proved to be the winning bucket as No. 1 Syracuse escaped for a 56-55 victory over North Carolina State on Saturday.
Tyler Ennis was called for an offensive foul with nearly 15 seconds remaining, giving the Wolfpack the ball for an inbounds. T.J. Warren took a lob pass down court, and Trevor Cooney fouled him on the floor before his layup went was counted.
On the ensuing inbounds, Rakeem Christmas stole the ball off a poor pass from the corner from Anthony Barber, and Fair went down the court for the game- winning layup that counted after Ralston Turner pushed the ball out of the net and was called for goaltending.
"Coach was telling us to trap, and then they will get out and foul. We got a good trap in the corner, and Rakeem (Christmas) jumped the pass," said Fair about the pivotal play. "From there I just took off for the fast break and Tyler (Ennis) was able to find me, and I was able to convert. That was a big play."
Warren hit the front of the rim on a jumper with a second to go and Syracuse (25-0, 12-0 ACC) swatted the ball away to deny NC State (16-9, 6-6) the upset.
It was the second straight heart-stopping win for the Orange. On Wednesday, Ennis' long 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Syracuse a 58-56 win at Pittsburgh.
Christmas led the Orange with 14 points, 12 rebounds, and seven blocks, while Jerami Grant supplied 12 points and a career-high 14 boards. Fair chipped in 11 points as Syracuse extended its program-best win streak.
Warren paced North Carolina State with 23 points and Kyle Washington had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolfpack, who entered the game with two straight wins.
Tied at 26 at the break, Warren started the second all six points in a 6-2 burst for the Wolfpack that was capped off with steal and a dunk to make it a 32-28 game.
After Michael Gbinije and Christmas each knocked down a pair of free throws, Grant nailed a jumper to give Syracuse a 40-39 advantage with just over nine minutes remaining.
NC State later went on a 9-3 run that contained two triples from Turner and 3- point play from Warren to take a 50-45 lead, but Syracuse regained the edge after Christmas knocked down a pair of free throws in a six-point burst for the hosts with less than five minutes remaining.
Ennis fouled Turner from beyond the arc and Turner made him pay by draining all three shots to give the Wolfpack a 55-53 lead with 1:02 remaining.
Jordan Vandenberg fouled Fair, who knocked down only one of his free throws to get the Orange within one with 41 seconds remaining.
The Wolfpack had a chance to make it a two-possession game, but Desmond Lee turned the ball over after he bounced it off his foot and out of bounds, giving Syracuse the ball back with 22 seconds left.
In the first half, Warren's layup capped a 6-0 run for the Wolfpack that gave them a 26-22 edge with 2:33 to go. Fair hit a jumper and Cooney stole the ball off Warren and finished with a dunk to knot the game at 26 heading into the break.