The #2 Syracuse Orange (21-0, 8-0 ACC) beat the Duke Blue Devils (17-5, 6-3 ACC) 91-89 in front of a record 35,446 in the Carrier Dome on Saturday night.
The Dome was rocking from the get-go as Syracuse has battled to a 38-35 lead over Duke Blue Devils at the half.
Tyler Ennis jump-started the Orange offense early, scoring six points in the early moments. Duke, even with a slow start, soon caught up with the Orange behind 3-pointers from Andre Dawkins and Rasheed Sulaimon.
Tyler Roberson provided a spark off the bench for the Orange, including an electrifying fast break dunk to tie the game at 18. SU held a 28-23 lead at one point, but five quick Duke points cut the lead to two, and then to just one point when Rodney Hood hit a three-pointer. Jerami Grant hit four free throws towards the end of the half to keep the Orange advantage.
CJ Fair led all scorers with 11 points while Trevor Cooney had seven points with one three pointer. Duke did most their damage from behind the arc, going 6-15 from behind the three point line during the first half.
In the second half, foul trouble would pose a major obstacle for Duke.
Both Jabari Parker and Amile Jefferson would have to go to the bench with 4 fouls each with 10 minutes left in the second half.
CJ Fair would capitalize on Duke??s foul woes, including a infantic jam and a fast break lay up that energized the crowd and put the Orange up five with 8:55 to go. Tyler Thornton would keep Duke in it with three straight threes, keeping the Orange??s lead at two.
With 1:42 left in the game, Jabari Parker fouled out with 15 points and 9 rebounds.
However, with 47 seconds left, Sulaimon hit a three pointer and was fouled by Cooney, but missed the free throw to keep the score tied at 75. Jefferson then fouled out for Duke with 30 seconds to go. He would finish with 14 points on the night. Rakeem Christmas would hit one of two free throws to put the Orange up by one.
After Tyler Ennis made two free throws to put the Orange up three, Sulaimon nailed a buzzer beating three to tie the game at 78 and force overtime.
Overtime was a see-saw, back and forth battle between the two powerhouses. Jerami Grant had three dunks to keep the game close.
Andre Dawkins nailed a three with 1:20 left in overtime to put the Duke up three.
After being fouled, Grant hit two key three throws to put the Orange up one with 39 seconds to go. Duke would miss a huge opportunity to take the lead when Rodney Hood missed a dunk and Dawkins fouled Ennis with six seconds to go.
Ennis would make the free throws, then foul Duke to prevent a game tying three pointer.
After Fair was fouled intentionally, he would seal the game, making one of two free throws and give the Orange the 91-89 win.Fair finished a career-high 28 points and five rebounds. Grant had 24 points and 12 rebounds, he finished 10-10 from the Free Throw line. Rakeem Christmas had 7 points, 6 blocks and 10 rebounds. Ennis and Cooney each finished 14 points.