NEW YORK (AP)Joseph Girard III scored a career high 31 points and Syracuse needed overtime to get past Richmond, 74-71 Monday night to advance to the championship game of the Empire Classic.
The Orange will play St. John’s Tuesday night for the tournament championship. The Red Storm beat Temple, 78-72 to reach the final.
Isaiah Bigelow hit a 3-pointer with 5:56 left in regulation to give Richmond a 62-57 lead, but it was the Spiders’ last field goal in regulation, adding only a free throw by Tyler Burton with 52 seconds left to tie the game at 63. Richmond turned the ball over with five seconds left without getting off a shot and Syracuse got the ball under the basket but could not beat the buzzer with a layup.
Chris Bell and Judah Mintz hit jumpers a minute apart in overtime to give Syracuse a 72-68 lead with 1:03 left and Girard added two free throws with six seconds left before Jason Nelson hit a 3 for Richmond to set the final margin.
Girard hit 12 of 24 from the field, including 4 of 11 from distance, to lead the Orange (3-1). Mintz added 16 points with four assists and three steals and Jesse Edwards contributed 10 points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots.
Bigelow hit 3 of 9 from beyond the arc and led Richmond (2-3) with 17 points. Nelson added 14 points and six assists, Tyler Burton had 13 points and 15 assists and Jason Roche came off the bench to hit 4 of 8 from distance to add 12 points.
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