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NC State gets big road win; Wake Forest victorious at home

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Markell Johnson’s 3-pointer with 33 seconds to go broke a 70-70 tie and North Carolina State went on to defeat Syracuse 74-70 Wednesday.

The game was critical for both teams who reside squarely on the NCAA bubble.

Allerik Freeman led the Wolfpack (17-9, 7-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 17 points. Johnson had 16 and Sam Hunt, who hit four big 3s in the second half, added 14. The Wolfpack, who broke a two-game losing streak, had seven 3s in the final 20 minutes.

Syracuse (17-9, 6-7) was led by Oshae Brissett, who had a game-high 25 points, including 18 in the second half. Tyus Battle had 17 on just 5-of-14 shooting, including 0-of-4 from 3, and Frank Howard had 16.

NC State took a 41-39 lead on a jumper by Freeman with 16:52 to go, but Syracuse went on an 8-0 run to take a 47-41 lead with 13:29 remaining. The Wolfpack responded with five straight and then closed to 49-48 on a short jumper by Torin Dorn. Syracuse scored the next five to extend to a 54-48 lead but the Wolfpack answered again, scoring eight straight, including four points by Dorn, to take a 56-54 lead on a layup and foul shot by Freeman with 8:23 to go.

Syracuse tied the game at 56 on a floater by Howard with 7:23 to go but 3-pointers by Hunt and Freeman gave the Wolfpack a 62-58 margin with 6:09 remaining. NC State extended its margin to 70-62 on a Freeman layup and two 3-pointers by Hunt. The Orange scored the next eight to tie the game at 70 on two 3s by Brissett and a Battle reverse layup. Brissett’s 3 tied the game with 1:02 to go.

BIG PICTURE:

With a matchup against bottom-feeder Wake Forest on Saturday, North Carolina State can build on its resume.

Syracuse’s loss puts the Orange squarely behind the eight-ball with consecutive games against Miami and North Carolina.

•••

WAKE FOREST SNAPS 3-GAME SKID, BEATS GEORGIA TECH 79-62

WINSTON-SALEM (AP) — Doral Moore scored 17 points, Bryant Crawford added 16 and Wake Forest beat Georgia Tech 79-62 on Wednesday night.

The teams combined to hit 20 of their first 35 shots from the field, including an 11-of-19 effort by the Demon Deacons, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Wake Forest (10-16, 3-11 Atlantic Coast Conference) was able to string together a 10-0 run that gave it a 36-26 lead following a Mitchell Wilbekin 3-pointer with 3:43 remaining in the first half.

Wilbekin and Brandon Childress each added 11 points for Wake Forest, which committed a season-low five turnovers — more than eight fewer than its 13.2 season average. Crawford, a junior, tied a season-high by dishing out nine assists without committing a turnover.

Josh Okogie had 20 points and Ben Lammers added 14 for Georgia Tech (11-15, 4-9). The Yellow Jackets, who entered Wednesday making a league-worst 4.92 3-pointers a game, connected on only one of its nine attempts from behind the arc.

The Demon Deacons had lost 10 of their last 11 games going into Wednesday, yet are now three games ahead of Pittsburgh for last place in the ACC with four regular-season games remaining.

UP NEXT:

Georgia Tech plays host on Saturday to Virginia Tech, which lost at No. 12 Duke 74-52 on Wednesday for only its second loss in its last seven games.

Wake Forest, which hasn’t won back-to-back games since beating Coastal Carolina, 84-80, on Dec. 18, plays host to North Carolina State on Saturday.

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