Gillon drops 43 as Syracuse Snags First ACC Road Win
By Kevin Ryans RALEIGH, N.C.– With just less than nine minutes remaining in regulation, Syracuse (14-9, 6-4) faced a 16-point deficit to NC State (14-9, 3-7). Then John Gillon came alive.
The graduate transfer scored 23 points in the second half, including five three pointers helping the Orange beat the Wolfpack 100-93 in overtime.
Gillon finished the contest with 43 points overall, the most by a Syracuse player since Gerry McNamara scored 43 in a 2004 NCAA Tournament game against BYU. According to Cuse.com Gillon’s 43 points is tied for the fourth highest in program history.
The first half of the game was a back and forth affair with Syracuse and NC State shooting better than 53 percent from the field. Grad transfers Andrew White III and Gillon paced the cuse with 11 and 16 points respectively.
On the Wolfpack side, it was able to get out in transition often and beat the Orange from three-point range. NC State Forward Maverick Rowan was red hot from downtown. Rowan was four of eight from deep and had a first half high 18 points to lead NC State.
Syracuse was also losing the points in the paint battle early, trailing NC State 14-6 at intermission. But, with the Orange shooting well it was able to hold on to a 44-41 halftime lead.
The Wolfpack came out of the break red hot. It’s 12-to-4 run from the 13 minute mark to the 8 minute mark put them up by 16 points. That turned out to be the largest lead of the evening.
Led by Gillon, Syracuse went on a 17-2 burst to cut the deficit to one point with just more than five minutes on the clock.
The back and forth affair would continue and the Orange eventually tied the game at 84. Then, Rowan sank a three pointer to give NC State a three-point lead with ten seconds remaining.
Gillon would not be deterred, though. With 1.1 left in the game, the grad transfer knocked home a game tying triple that eventually sent the game into overtime.
In the extra session, Gillon’s fellow graduate, White took over. The forward scored nine of his season high 28 points to put the contest away.
Sophomore Tyler Lydon was the only other Orange player in double-figures as he put together a respectable 15-point, seven rebound performance.
For NC State, guard Dennis Smith Jr. was stellar on the night tallying a triple-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 15 assists.. He is the first ACC player to record two triple doubles in one season in the last 20 years.
But the story of the game was Gillon and Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim feels the guard has really begun to put his game together in an Orange uniform.
“John’s got it figured out now,” Boeheim said. “He is a good offensive player; that is why we recruited him. He can shoot, we knew that.”
Gillon believed his shot was on from the get-go.
“From the start I felt good. I was hitting (shots) in warm-ups,” Gillon said “They let me hit my groove and you saw the rest.”
Syracuse heads back to the Carrier Dome defend its three game winning streak as it hosts Virginia Saturday. Game time is set for 12 P.M.