Aggressive defense was really the savior for the Syracuse Orange on Sunday. They defeated Georgia Tech 71-52, in large part due to a 2nd half surge, led by the defense. Syracuse forced 35 turnovers against the Yellow Jackets, 20 of which came in the 2nd half. Georgia Tech only shot 17 times in the 2nd half, meaning that it was more likely that Georgia Tech would turn the ball over than even take a shot. The Orange finished the game on a 22-6 run to seal a big win and their fourth straight ACC victory. SU is still 5th in the ACC.
Briana Day filled up the stat sheet with her sensational game. She scored 21 points on her 64% shooting night. She grabbed 12 rebounds, seven of which were offensive. Syracuse scored 13 points off Briana Day's 12 rebounds. Day also recorded three steals and five blocks. She was the player of the game for the Orange. Her double-double is the fourth of the season for Day.
Alexis Peterson had an outstanding game as well. Peterson scored 22 points, leading all scorers; converting three 3-pointers. She also stole the ball four times.
This is Syracuse's 2nd straight game forcing at least 33 turnovers. Physical and agile defense has kept the Orange games all season, but this most recent display of aggressive and tough defense is on another level. If Syracuse can keep this up in time for post-season play, the Orange could destroy expectations and make a run. However, when SU has played against top tier teams, their defense tends to slow down, as the full-court press is not always fully utilized in big games.
The Orange travel to Virginia for their next game. The Cavaliers are in the bottom third of the ACC with a 3-7 record. The game is on Thursday evening, tip-off is scheduled at 7 pm.