No. 7 North Carolina crushes Syracuse

RJ Davis racked up 22 points and No. 7 North Carolina rolled again, routing visiting Syracuse 103-67 on Saturday afternoon at Chapel Hill, N.C.

Armando Bacot posted 16 points and 11 rebounds and Harrison Ingram provided 11 points and 10 rebounds for the first-place Tar Heels (13-3, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). Reserves Jalen Washington and Jae’Lyn Withers had 11 and 10 points, respectively.

North Carolina, which was coming off three straight road triumphs, has won six games in a row overall. It was the most points for the Tar Heels in an ACC game since 113 in February 2019 against North Carolina State.

Judah Minz tallied 21 points, Quadir Copeland had 16 points off the bench and Chris Bell finished with 13 points for Syracuse (11-5, 2-3), which shot 36.5 percent from the field and committed 17 turnovers. The Orange are seeking a breakthrough conference victory but dipped to 0-3 in league road games.

Davis was 4-for-6 on 3-point shots, while the rest of the Tar Heels were 3-for-20 from long range. Syracuse was 4-for-19 on 3s.

It was the biggest romp for North Carolina in this series, with the previous largest winning margin at 23 points. The Tar Heels have won 13 of 16 meetings with Syracuse since the Orange joined the ACC.

The Tar Heels used a 16-2 run for a 70-41 advantage with 14:41 left in regulation. They were so dominant that they led 90-51 with more than eight minutes remaining.

It took the Tar Heels only six minutes to build a double-figure lead. The margin expanded to 45-18, so even a 9-0 run for the Orange didn’t provide much of a threat. The halftime score was 52-30.

North Carolina shot 51.4 percent from the field in the opening half and grabbed five offensive rebounds. Syracuse was at 29 percent with 10 turnovers.

Bell and Mintz each had 10 first-half points.

Syracuse played its second game in a row without starting center Naheem McLeod, who has a foot injury.