For a second straight contest to start ACC play, the Syracuse Orange found themselves in a one-possession game in the final minute on Wednesday night. And like they did against the Virginia Tech Hokies on Sunday, the Orange again clawed out an uncomfortably close win -- this time beating the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 46-45 in Atlanta.
Syracuse and Georgia Tech went back-and-forth all night long, with neither team leading by more than four points at any point. The Jackets went ahead 45-44 with just over a minute to play, but Rakeem Christmas hit the tying and go-ahead free throws at the 13-second mark, clinching the Orange's victory.
Christmas led all scorers with 18 points to go along with eight rebounds, and Michael Gbinije notched his first double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The struggles continued for Chris McCullough, who went just 1-of-7 and managed only three points. Meanwhile, for the Yellow Jackets, Charles Mitchell scored 17 points and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
Syracuse shot significantly better than Georgia Tech but never pulled away, something that can be largely attributed to being outrebounded 43-33 and allowing the Jackets to get 19 offensive boards.
The Orange get a few days off before their ACC home-opener on Sunday night, when they'll play host to the Florida State Seminoles. Let's just hope that game is prettier to watch than this one was.