The Carleton Ravens men's basketball team almost had their biggest exhibition win ever Friday night, losing 69-65 to the Syracuse Orange in overtime at the Canadian Tire Centre.

The three-time defending national champions jumped out to a 7-0 lead against one of American college basketball's marquee teams, one that bowed out in the NCAA Final Four this spring.

In fact, they led 32-23 after a sloppy first half and by as much as 15 points in the second half before the Orange started to claw back.

Syracuse tied the game with 4:44 left to play in regulation, pulling ahead for the first time in the game a few possessions later.

After a Thomas Scrubb shot failed to fall at the buzzer it was off to overtime tied at 59. After regulation time, the Orange scored ten points to Carleton’s six to come away with the win.

Orange play GeeGees on Saturday

Jerami Grant was Syracuse’s leading scorer with 18 points, while Brampton, Ont., rookie Tyler Ennis scored 15.

Carleton’s Tyson Hinz led the Ravens with 16 points and 13 rebounds. A few lapses cost his team the game, he said.

"Syracuse really hit the boards hard and gave us a real lesson in rebounding," he told Goravens.ca.

"It’s something we definitely plan on taking as motivation from the game."

"We asked them to play as hard as they could," said Ravens coach Rob Smart.

"Despite the loss, it’s a great feeling to go to toe with an elite team like Syracuse."

The loss means Carleton went 3-1 against American competition this summer, beating Towson, Texas Christian and Wisconsin in exhibition games before this loss.

Their regular season begins Nov. 1.

The Orange, who have the fifth-most wins in National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) history, are now 3-0 in Canada and play the University of Ottawa Saturday night.