SYRACUSE – It came down to the final few seconds for the second straight game, but the #T3/4 Orange (18-1, 6-0) triumphed yet again, defeating #RV/24 Cincinnati (16-4, 4-2), 57-55 in the Carrier Dome on Monday afternoon.
Trailing by three points at 55-52 with 1:30 remaining in the game, Carter-Williams connected on a three-pointer to tie score at 55-55. As time slipped away, Fair tipped in a basket to put the Orange ahead by two points, holding off the Bearcats for another 15 seconds for the win.
Sophomore Michael Carter-Williams led the offense with 16 points, while senior Brandon Triche and senior C.J. Fair tallied 13 points apiece. Freshman Jerami Grant led the Orange defense with a career-high seven rebounds.
After a three-pointer from Fair, brought the Orange within one point of the lead at 9-8 Michael Carter Williams ripped the ball away from Cincinnati's Sean Kilpatrick, and dished it off to Triche, who drove in for a layup to put Syracuse back on top at 10-9 with 13:22 remaining in the opening frame.
Preventing the Bearcats from a scoring a single basket for nine minutes, SU built a six- point advantage on a 10-0 run lifted Syracuse ahead, 15-9. After Kilpatrick interrupted the streak with a three-pointer and a free throw, the Orange responded with a 5-0 spurt for a seven point lead at 20-13 with 4:37 remaining in the half.
Syracuse concluded the opening frame with a dunk from Carter-Williams to give SU a solid four-point lead at halftime.
Following the break, the Bearcats opened the second half with consecutive three-pointers and a pair of free throws to climb back on top by six at 30-24. Cincinnati pulled ahead with its largest lead of the half, up by seven at 36-29, before Carter-Williams answered back with seven straight points to tie the score at 36-36 with 11:36 remaining in the period.
Cincinnati found its way back to the top, with a six-point advantage at 44-38 before Carter-Williams and Triche broke up the offensive attack and put the Orange within two points of the lead at 44-42 with 7:08 remaining in the game.
With the Bearcats clinging to a slim advantage, the Orange moved in closer as Carter-Williams sank a jumper and a three-pointer to tie the score at 55-55 heading into the final minute of play.