College basketball: Syracuse guards spark upset of No. 7 North Carolina

Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Syracuse guards Judah Mintz and J.J. Starling combined for 48 points to lead the unranked Orange to an 86-79 upset over No. 7 North Carolina.

The Orange outshot the Tar Heels 62.5% to 47.5% in the victory Tuesday at the JMA Wireless Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.

"I saw it coming with two or three minutes left," Mintz told the team website. "I was praying we made all of our free throws so we could make it happen. I've never been a part of something like that. It was special."

The Tar Heels took an initial lead off the tip-off before the Orange answered with a 9-2 run. The Tar Heels followed with a 15-4 run to wrestle back the lead, but the Orange tied the score 42-42 at halftime.

The Tar Heels led just once in the second half. The Orange started the half with a 10-1 run. Their foes held a 19-12 scoring advantage over the next 7:41 to fight for a 65-64 edge, their final lead of the night.

Starling and Mintz then scored eight points apiece over the final 6:45 to help the Orange clinch their upset.

Mintz made 8 of 11 shots, 9 of 11 free throws and logged five rebounds, four assists and three steals in the victory. Starling made 9 of 15 shots, including 3 of 6 3-point attempts, for the Orange. Forwards Maliq Brown and Chris Bell scored 14 and 13 points respectively, in the victory.

The Tar Heels and Orange each scored 32 points in the paint and 14 points off turnovers. The Tar Heels edged the Orange 18-3 in second chance points and 18-9 in fast break points.

"This game was the best game I've seen that we've played all year," Orange coach Adrian Autry told reporters. "Everybody that played in the game was outstanding."

Tar Heels guards R.J. Davis and Cormac Ryan logged 19 and 18 points, respectively. Harrison Ingram totaled 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels. Fellow Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot logged 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The Orange (16-9) will face Georgia Tech (10-14) at 5:30 p.m. EST Saturday in Atlanta. The Tar Heels (19-6) will host Virginia Tech (14-10) at 2 p.m. Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C.