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Syracuse Hands Top-20 VT a Double-Digit Loss

Posted on January 23, 2021 at 2:15 PM

  Article by Dan Tortora

  The Syracuse Orange men's basketball team welcomed their highest-ranked opponent to date of this season when the Virginia Tech Hokies came into town for this contest.

  Virginia Tech, ranked 16th in the Associated Press (AP) Poll and 14th in the Coaches' Poll, entered the Dome with a record of 5-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and 11-2 overall. The Hokies defeated all three of the Top-25 ranked adversaries they had faced this season: #3 Villanova Wildcats (81-73 at home), #24 Clemson Tigers (66-60 at home), and #13 Duke Blue Devils (74-67 at home).

  The first half saw four lead changes and two ties in the first 12 minutes and change on the floor. 

  Syracuse would go on an 11-0 run from the 14:39 mark to 11:56 remaining in the first half, bringing them from down 10-4 to ahead 15-10. They would hold a lead for exactly five minutes from 12:54 to 7:54 of the firsl half before freshman forward David N'Guessan tied the game at 21-apiece on a layup with 7:53 remaining on the first-half clock. 

  The Hokies reclaimed the lead off of a deep ball by redshirt-sophomore guard Tyrece Radford that made it 24-21.

  N'Guessan would attack the baseline to follow, slamming it down to elevate the Hokies to a five-point lead, 26-21.

  Syracuse, struggling to create good looks at the rim, got some action from true freshman guard Kadary Richmond getting in the lane and commanding his territory. Richmond would then find senior forward Marek Dolezaj inside for two at the rim to retake the lead, 29-28.

  Virginia Tech would answer immediately with an old-fashioned three-point play by sophomore guard Nahiem Alleyne with 3:21 to go before the break, giving the Hokies a 31-29 lead.

  Richmond would respond to the response with a jumper that would tie the game at 31 just 17 seconds later. With his two makes and his assist to Dolezaj, Richmond would be connected six-straight points by the Orange.

  Syracuse would finish the first half on a 9-3 run, taking the lead from when sophomore forward Quincy Guerrier went 2-for-2 at the line and carrying it to the locker room, 40-34.

  With a little over 15 minutes to play, Dolezaj was the lone player in double-figures for the Orange, with 14.

  Guerrier and junior forward Alan Griffin would change that with back-to-back makes inside for Syracuse, giving themselves 11-apiece.

  Girard would follow with the third-consecutive scoring possession for the Orange when he stole the ball from sophomore guard Hunter Cattoor and finished with an up-and-center at the rim in close quarters with his defender, giving the Orange a 53-44 advantage. Griffin and Girard's makes inside each came off of steals by Girard that created both possessions.

  Guerrier would score nine-straight points before sitting down following his fourth personal foul. He had 20 points and eight rebounds in 31 minutes of play.

  True freshman guard Kadary Richmond would join Dolezaj, Guerrier, and Griffin in double-figures when he connected from beyond the arc to beat the shot clock with 3:26 to play, giving him 11 on the day, off the bench.

  Richmond would score nine of Syracuse's 11 points in a span of four minutes and 49 seconds. He would finish with 13 points in 15 minutes, going 5-for-6 from the field, including making his only three-point attempt and cashing in at the line on both of his free throw tries.

  Four of seven Syracuse players, as aforementioned, ended the match-up in double-digits, with Guerrier leading the way with 20 points, followed by Dolezaj with 18 points on 5-for-9 shooting and 8-for-8 at the line, Griffin with 15 points to go with 11 rebounds and seven blocks, and Richmond with 11.

  Syracuse would get their first win over a Top-25, nationally-ranked team with this 18-point victory, 78-60, over Virginia Tech; they had only played one other ranked team previously this season, losing on the road in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge versus the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 79-69.

  The Orange never gave up their lead from 32-31 with 2:30 remaining in the first half through the entire second half.

  Alleyne led all Hokies with 20, followed by Radford and N'Guessan each with 10.

  The victory moves Syracuse back to .500 in the ACC at 3-3, and 9-4 overall.

  This loss is only the second loss for Virginia Tech in conference, their other also being on the road, that to the Louisville Cardinals, 73-71. They move to 11-3 overall.

Categories: Syracuse Orange Men's Basketball, Atlantic Coast Conference, NCAA

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