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A late-game collapse as Syracuse falls to Virginia Tech 71-59

The Orange had a chance but stumbled down the stretch.

Syracuse v Boston College Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange lost 71-59 to the Virginia Tech Hokies in their first test without Jesse Edwards. Both teams entered the game looking to get a win as they try to play back into NCAA Tournament discussion and the Orange had a chance at a Quad 1 win but they let it slip away down the stretch.

Joe Girard and Buddy Boeheim led the way for Syracuse as the backcourt combined for 37 points. Frank Anselem had 15 rebounds in his first career start but inconsistent offense hurt the Orange in this one. Virginia Tech was led by Justin Mutts’ triple double of 12 points 14 rebounds and 11 assists. The Hokies finished the game with 20 assists as they overcame a poor shooting 2nd half.

Hunter Cattoor hit three early 3’s as the Syracuse zone struggled to get out on the Hokies shooters. The Orange responded with back to back 3’s from Jimmy Boeheim and a nice pass from Jimmy to Joe Girard. It was 17-16 at the 12 minute mark when Bourama Sidibe and Symir Torrence entered the game. Girard’s 3 gave the lead back to Syracuse at 21-20 as the teams entered into the under-8 timeout.

After a Buddy Boeheim 3 gave the Orange a 26-24 lead the Hokies went on a 7-0 run and forced a timeout from Jim Boeheim as the crowd in the worst ACC arena (per James Szuba) was back into the game. Syracuse made a ton of mistakes down the stretch highlighted by Torrence fouling on a 3-point make leading to a four-point play from Maddox who was 3-4 from deep in the first half. Virginia Tech led 39-29 at the half.

Girard was active to start the 2nd half with two 3’s an assist and a steal as the Orange got to within 6 at the first media timeout. Buddy hit two from deep to stop another Hokies run and Girard’s third 3 of the half got Syracuse within 3 points. Virginia Tech decided to help the Orange out by missing shots they hit in the first half but then the Mutts took back over and the Hokies went on an 8-0 run as Syracuse started missing quick 3s on offense.

Virginia Tech went on a 13-0 run as Syracuse missed 11 straight from behind the arc until a 3 from Buddy made it a 10-point game in the final minute. Syracuse finished the game shooting 37% from the field and after starting 9-15 from 3, ended up 10-27 from beyond the arc. The Orange had 9 assists and 11 turnovers and now they have a week until they host the Boston College Eagles in the Dome.