The Syracuse Orange found some late life in the first half and took a 39-34 lead into the halftime locker room. However, all of that momentum flipped in the second half as Georgia Tech clamped down defensively and broke down Syracuse. All of that led to an 84-77 win for the Yellow Jackets in a game that the Orange had multiple chances to break ahead.
Here’s our three takeaways from the Syracuse loss:
Alan Griffin and Moses Wright dominated the first half of the game. Griffin had 20 first-half points while Wright had 12 points and nine rebounds. The team that could get help from other players would be in prime position to win the game.
Georgia Tech got that help.
Michael Devoe and Jordan Usher answered the call to help Wright as they had 13 and 11 second half points receptively. The two also had seven combined rebounds to support Wright on the boards. Jose Alvarado made his presence known with his defense and his passing to break down Syracuse on both sides of the ball to give the Yellow Jackets all the tools necessary to defeat Syracuse.
Syracuse didn’t get the same help from its offense. Quincy Guerrier found some early second half confidence but the Orange offense couldn’t get anything going against Georgia Tech. There didn’t seem to be many consistent scoring options that Syracuse could turn to in order to cut the deficit.
This is Georgia Tech’s bread and butter. They’re a great passing team and more often than not they have someone lurking at the low post underneath the basket waiting for a pass. Syracuse has been so bad at preventing a pass from getting inside that Georgia Tech completed the quick 1-2 pass from the high post to the block with regularity. That left Wright wide open for easy flushes. The Yellow Jackets have routinely used that backdoor pass to the low post against the Syracuse zone and it work to perfection for the win.
Syracuse is now 0-6 in quadrant one games. That mark won’t get any team into the NCAA tournament, and the Orange most likely can’t improve on that record. The Orange don’t have any more quadrant one games scheduled. Unless Syracuse schedules one more game or makes a deep run in NCAA tournament, the Orange won’t add any more of those all-important games.
Because of those lack of quadrant one games, Syracuse’s tournament chances are most likely all but sealed. There aren’t many paths into the tournament for the Orange now.