Men's basketball: Season concludes with loss to N.C. State

Double-doubles by Christmas and Roberson not enough as Wolfpack pulls away in the second half.

Just one day after the NCAA levied significant sanctions against the Syracuse men's basketball program, the regular season came to a bitter end Saturday afternoon.

Rakeem Christmas scored 15 points and added 12 rebounds in his final game for SU, but it wasn't enough to keep N.C. State from handing the Orange a season-ending loss, 71-57.

Syracuse (18-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) raced out to an eight-point lead with 3:24 left in the first half despite a barrage of double-teams against Christmas in the low post. Each Orange starter scored at least three points in the half, but a late run by N.C. State (19-12, 10-8 Atlantic Coast) allowed the Wolfpack to take a slim one-point lead into the break.

But that lead ballooned in the second, as SU went cold from the field. Christmas and Tyler Roberson combined for 19 points while the rest of the team shot 4-of-17.

Meanwhile, N.C. State's Ralston Turner drained five threes and tallied 19 points to bury any hope of a comeback.

Christmas exited the game with 1:22 left amidst hugs from his teammates and a standing ovation from the SU fans in attendance. Earlier on Saturday, the senior was named one of 15 finalists for the Wooden Award.

Head coach Jim Boeheim did not attend the post-game press conference, saying in a prepared statement that "today should be about this terrific team and how they have made me, our coaches, the University and the community proud during a challenging season on and off the court."

Boeheim was suspended for nine games by the NCAA Friday afternoon.

The Orange will not compete in the ACC Tournament due to a sef-imposed post-season ban last month.

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