It was the second straight 40-plus point defeat for the Orange, who found themselves outmatched by a taller, deeper, more talented team for the second time since Thursday night. Syracuse has given up 98.5 points per game in its last two contests
This was the fifth of five games in 12 days for Syracuse. Playing with a six-player rotation is only sustainable for so long. The Orange were able to survive and even thrive early in the season, but now it looks as though there isn’t much gas left in the tank.
The only way Syracuse was going to hang in against the Wolfpack was if it could muster a solid offensive performance. The Orange could only put together a 27 percent effort from the field and shot 9-for-33 from beyond the arc.
The Wolfpack were able to pick Syracuse apart inside, shooting 55 percent from the field despite a 5-for-23 mark from three. Kayla Jones paced NC State with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting in just 19 minutes of action. Elissa Cunane had 14 points and nine rebounds and Jakia Brown-Turner also had 14 and added eight boards and six assists.
NC State absolutely dominated on the boards, outrebounding Syracuse 59-27. The Wolfpack also held a commanding advantage in points in the paint, outscoring the Orange 62-16.
Chrislyn Carr had a team-high 14 for Syracuse. Four of the five starters scored in double-figures, but with only two bench points it was a moot point for the Orange. Teisha Hyman and Naje Murray each had 12 but combined to shoot 8-for-32 from the field.
The game was pretty much over before it started, with the Wolfpack hopping out on a 9-0 run. Jones hit a layup to make it 21-4 in favor of the home team with 3:42 left in the first and the Orange trailed 28-9 after one quarter.
Syracuse regained a spark of hope with a 9-0 run punctuated by a Chrislyn Carr three that made it 32-20 with 5:32 left in the first half. Any hopes the Orange had of getting back into it were quickly dashed when the Wolfpack responded with the next nine points.
NC State led 48-26 at the half.
Things continued to get worse in the second half. Jones completed a three-point play to make it 60-29 with 7:01 left in the third. NC State continued to pound the paint and took a 75-39 lead into the fourth.
Syracuse didn’t put up quite as bad of a fourth-quarter performance as it did against Virginia Tech on Thursday, but it still couldn’t cut into the lead against the Wolfpack bench.
The Orange now sits at 11-15 overall and 4-12 in the ACC. As it stands, they would be the 11-seed in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, matching up against Pitt in the first round. Syracuse doesn’t have any hope of getting a better seed and could end up anywhere in the 11-14 range depending on how the regular-season finishes
The Orange get a few days of rest before traveling to Winston-Salem to face Wake Forest at 7 p.m. on Thursday night.