In dire need of a resume boosting win, the Syracuse Orange hosted the Virginia Cavaliers at home in what was the largest crowd in a college basketball game this season. That desperate need for a big time upset wouldn’t come to fruition as Syracuse failed to get in done offensively. In short, the Cavaliers came into the Dome and sucked the life out of Syracuse to cruise to a 59-44 (#BRAND) win.
From the opening tip, Kyle Guy got things started right away for Virginia by knocking down a three in the corner. Syracuse would hang around for the first 13 minutes but Virginia stymied the Orange defensively, forcing contested shots from deep with a waning shot clock. Virginia went on an 11-3 run in the final seven minutes and took a 31-21 lead into the break.
In the second half the Orange brought the press early, but Virginia handled it with poise. The Cavaliers continued to build upon its lead with stifling defense as Syracuse struggled to get much of anything going offensively.
The Orange had some marginal success with the press at the end but Syracuse just didn’t have enough offensively to make a game of it. Virginia attacked the pressure, hit the high post in the half court and dumped down to the low block for dunks time and again. The Cavaliers left the Carrier Dome with a win to remain undefeated in the ACC.
Tyus Battle led Syracuse in scoring with 15 while Frank Howard had 11 points. Marek Dolezaj had 9 points and 7 rebounds while Oshae Brissett gave 9 points and 6 boards. Those were the only four Syracuse players to score in the contest. The Orange finished the game with 6 assists.
Syracuse now moves to 15-8 on the season and 4-6 in the conference. The Orange will have a quick turnaround as it travels down to Louisville to take on the Cardinals on Monday. That game tips at 7pm from the KFC Yum! Center as part of Big Monday. ESPN will air the game with Sean McDonough on the call.