College Basketball Roundup: Syracuse stuns No. 7 UNC

Davidson topped La Salle

UNC forward Armando Bacot fights for a rebound against Syracuse forward Chris Bell, left, and guard Justin Taylor during the Orange’s win Tuesday in Syracuse, New York. (Adrian Kraus / AP Photo)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Judah Mintz scored 25 points, including 16 in the second half, and JJ Starling had 13 of his 23 points in the second half as Syracuse stunned No. 7 UNC 86-79 on Tuesday night.

The raucous home crowd rushed the court to celebrate the program’s first win over a top-10 team since a 95-91 overtime win over Duke in 2019.

The Orange shot 63% from the field and 47% from 3. The loss was UNC’s third in five games.

“This game, obviously, was the best game we’ve played all year,” said Syracuse first-year coach Adrian Autry. “Judah and JJ really stepped up big, but everybody who stepped on the court had a hand in the victory.”

UNC (19-6, 11-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) missed its first 10 shots of the second half and fell behind 52-43 but rallied and took a 65-64 lead on a layup by RJ Davis with 7:16 to go. But the Orange (16-9, 7-7), which suffered a 103-67 loss at Chapel Hill last month, was not to be denied.

“We showed that we got heart,” Mintz said. “I think we’ve been showing that all year.”

“We wouldn’t have won if we didn’t think we could win it,” he added. “We’re a confident group no matter how the odds are stacked against us. It’s great to get the win for the program.”

Starling hit a desperation 3-point bank shot to reclaim the Orange lead at 67-65 with under seven minutes to go. Mintz hit a layup, jumper and two foul shots to give the Orange a 73-67 margin, and Starling hit another 3 to give Syracuse a 76-69 lead following a Harrison Ingram jumper with under three to go.

“This is big-time for sure,” said Starling, who hails from nearby Baldwinsville. “We needed it. … One game against them showed that it wasn’t us. This showed what we’re capable of.”

Maliq Brown had 14 points and six rebounds for Syracuse and Chris Bell chipped in with 13.

Davis led UNC with 19 points. Cormac Ryan had 18, and Armando Bacot and Harrison Ingram had 14 apiece.

“We didn’t play well enough to win, we’ve just got to get better. They shot 63% from field. Very few teams in the country you can beat especially on the road when they shoot that well,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said. “You have to compliment Syracuse. They stepped up and made big plays and big shots. At the end of the day you just have to step up and make plays, we just didn’t, we didn’t make enough. We’ll go back and look at the tape and work hard, get better and move forward to the next game.”

UNC hosts Virginia Tech on Saturday.

Davidson 71, La Salle 56

DAVIDSON — Reed Bailey scored 22 points as Davidson beat La Salle 71-56 on Tuesday night.

Bailey also contributed 12 rebounds and three steals for the Wildcats (14-10, 4-7 Atlantic 10 Conference). Connor Kochera added 15 points and six rebounds. Bobby Durkin finished with 10 points.

The Explorers (11-14, 2-10) were led in scoring by Khalil Brantley, who finished with 16 points. La Salle also got 14 points and seven rebounds from Daeshon Shepherd. In addition, Anwar Gill had seven points.

Davidson took the lead with 15:54 remaining in the first half and did not relinquish it.

Both teams play on Saturday. Davidson visits Saint Bonaventure and La Salle hosts UMass.