College Sports

Second half run lifts Syracuse by Tar Heels

Jim Boeheim has always made a point of telling the media not to get too caught up in runs because basketball, especially on the college level, is a game of runs.

He could only smile as he was asked about Syracuse's 22-1 run to open the second half of an 87-71 victory over No. 6 North Carolina on Friday night in the championship game of the 2K Sports Classic in New York.

"That's about as good as it gets," he said, "and it was against North Carolina, and it was here."

The Orange (4-0) were the only unranked team in the semifinals of the tournament that benefits Coaches vs. Cancer but they left Madison Square Garden with blowout wins over No. 13 California and the Tar Heels (4-1).

North Carolina had a 39-37 halftime lead, but that was gone in a hurry as Brandon Triche and Arinze Onuaku had field goals in the first 40 seconds. By the time the run ended eight minutes into the second half Syracuse had a 59-40 lead.

"We had to get rebounds and get out and push and they wanted me and Arinze to be more aggressive," Triche said of the start to the second half. "We definitely responded, and Wes played a tremendous game."

Tournament MVP Wesley Johnson had 25 points for the Orange, who beat California 95-73 in the semifinals. Onuaku finished with 15 points, and Triche had 11.

Johnson, a 6-foot-7 junior transfer from Iowa State, was 10 of 17 from the field, including making half of eight three-point attempts, and had eight rebounds.

Ed Davis had 16 points and 10 rebounds and Marcus Ginyard added 15 points for the Tar Heels, who lost almost all of a 19-point second-half lead before beating No. 15 Ohio State 77-73 to reach the title game.

North Carolina missed its first 13 shots of the second half and turned the ball over six times as the Orange just didn't miss. Syracuse started the half by making 10 of its first 14 shots and the baskets were coming down low from Onuaku and from the perimeter including a three by Johnson that made it 57-40.

Ohio State beat California 76-70 in the third-place game.

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