RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Dion Waiters scored a career-high 22 points to help No. 1 Syracuse beat North Carolina State 88-72 on Saturday.
Scoop Jardine added 16 points for the Orange (11-0), including a pair of 3-pointers during an 11-2 spurt that finally gave them some cushion after the Wolfpack fought back from a 17-point deficit late in the first half. Waiters also came up big during that run, starting it by knocking down his own 3-pointer to answer one by Scott Wood that brought N.C. State (6-4) within 63-61.
Waiters also jumped a pass and raced in for a dunk, then Jardine closed the spurt with another 3 to push the lead to 74-63 with 6:41 left.
It was a good road test for Syracuse, which was playing for the first time as No. 1 this season -- as well as its first game outside its home state.
The Orange trailed by eight early before Waiters scored 10 points during a game-turning 23-0 run that silenced a rowdy sellout crowd and helped Syracuse take a 47-33 halftime lead. But the Wolfpack charged out of halftime with a 13-1 run to get back in it and even twice tied the game to re-energize the home crowd -- only to see Waiters and Jardine knock down huge shots to take back control.
C.J. Williams scored a career-high 25 points for N.C. State, which has frequently had nearby rivals Duke and North Carolina come into Raleigh with a No. 1 ranking. But this was the first time a nonconference No. 1 had come here since February 1979 and just the second time in program history, creating a far more lively environment than usual for a Christmas-time matchup.
Kris Joseph scored 21 points for Syracuse, which shot 57 percent and hit 11 of 25 3-point tries. N.C. State was even better at 58 percent and made 7 of 14 3s, but the Wolfpack committed 19 turnovers that led to 25 points for Syracuse. In addition, Waiters' huge scoring day helped the Orange reserves outscore the Wolfpack reserves 46-4 for the game.
N.C. State fell to 5-26 against No. 1 teams, with its last win coming in 2004 against Duke.