Dave Johnson scored 24 points and Billy Owens had 21 as No. 4 Syracuse withstood North Carolina State's three-point assault to take an 86-79 victory in the ACC-Big East Challenge last night in Syracuse.

Syracuse's victory gave the Big East a sweep of yesterday's games -- Seton Hall defeated Clemson 78-62 -- and a 3-1 lead halfway through the second annual inter-conference series.

The Orangemen (5-0) took control of the game over the final seven minutes after N.C. State (3-1) took a 70-68 lead on Rodney Monroe's reverse layup with 7:09 to play. Syracuse scored the next nine points for a 77-70 cushion then held on despite missing five of six free throws.

There were nine lead changes in the second half as the backcourt of Monroe (25 points) and Chris Corchiani (19 points) carried N.C. State, which hit 12 of 27 three-point shots.

Corchiani made one of North Carolina State's six first-half three-pointers to make it 36-28 with 5:44 left in the half. The Wolfpack was six for 10 on three-pointers in the half, with Monroe making four of five.

Seton Hall 78, Clemson 62: Senior forward Anthony Avent scored six of his 20 points in a late 12-2 spurt for the Pirates.

Sophomore guard Terry Dehere had 25 points for Seton Hall (3-1). Clemson (4-1) was led by center Dale Davis's 15 points.

Clemson erased an eight-point halftime deficit with a 12-2 burst to start the second half and took its final lead, 43-41, on Sean Tyson's layup with 16:46 left.

But after a Seton Hall timeout, the Pirates regrouped to push their lead back to 53-45 over the next four minutes, with the 6-foot-9 Avent scoring twice inside and hitting two free throws.