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Starling scores 26, Mintz adds 20 and 9 assists as Syracuse beats NC State 77-65

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — JJ Starling scored a career-high 26 points, Judah Mintz added 20 points, nine assists and four steals and Syracuse led by double figures throughout the second half of its 77-65 win Saturday night over N.C. State.

Chris Bell hit three 3-pointers and scored 13 for Syracuse (14-6, 5-4) and Benny Williams scored eight of his 11 points in the second half.

NC State trailed by as many as 21 points in the second half but got within nine with 2 minutes to go. Two free throws by Starling, a dunk by Qadir Copeland and two more free throws by Starling helped Syracuse put the game away.

Mintz found Bell for 3-pointers 45 seconds apart, Starling hit a jumper and Bell followed with another 3 before his fast-break dunk capped a 13-0 run that gave the Orange a 10-point lead with 5:45 left in the first half. DJ Horne made two free throws to trim the Wolfpack's deficit to 31-22 before Mintz scored the final seven points of the half.

The Orange have won six in a row against N.C. State (13-7, 5-4).

Horne led the Wolfpack with 15 points, Casey Morsell scored 10 of his 14 in the second half and D.J. Burns Jr. added 10, eight after halftime.

Mintz, who went into the game No. 7 nationally in free throws made (129) and free throws attempted (165), made just 3 of nine from the field but hit 14 of 20 from the foul line — both career highs. The 6-foot-4 sophomore has made 10-plus free throws in five games this season, including the last two.

The Orange had 10 steals and outscored N.C. State 20-9 at the free-throw line, despite making just 63% of their 32 attempts.

N.C. State returns home to play Tuesday against Miami. Syracuse, after two weeks (three games) at home, visits Boston College on Tuesday.

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