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Syracuse women’s basketball: what to watch for vs. Georgia Tech

The Orange look to get a road win in Georgia before its schedule ramps up.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

After falling by double-digits to #7 Notre Dame Sunday afternoon, the Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (13-5, 4-3) hopes to get back to its winning ways Thursday evening against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-9, 0-7).

Syracuse should (*fingers crossed*) be able to secure a road win against Georgia Tech, who are losers of six straight games and haven’t won a game in over a month. Last season, the Yellow Jackets fared much better with a 21-11 record overall (11-7 against the ACC) and a bid in the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

Syracuse is hoping to earn its fourth win in its last five games before staying on the road for a much-anticipated weekend matchup against #13 Duke.

Tip-off is set for Thursday at 7 pm EST, with the game available for streaming on ESPN’s ACC Network+.

Here’s what to watch for and everything you need to know heading into the contest between the Orange and the Yellow Jackets.

Question #1: Can ‘Cuse play from start to finish?

It’s been a common trend this season, but the Orange have relied too much on hero ball toward the end of games. Against defensively-disciplined ACC programs, Syracuse will need to diversify its offense without relying on its three-guard trio. Dariauna Lewis and Asia Strong have shown flashes as passers, while Alaina Rice has occasionally stepped up her role on offense. Down the road, the Orange have to establish a more egalitarian-style offense or give some more opportunity to the team’s reserves.

Question #2: Can Syracuse’s forwards keep Georgia Tech to one-possession trips?

Speaking of the supporting cast, Syracuse's forward trio of Lewis, Strong, and Kyra Wood will play a pretty sizeable role against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets don’t rank as a strong offensive team (last in the ACC in points per game and assist/turnover ratio). Georgia Tech does produce the fourth-most offensive rebounds per game in the conference, relying more on second-chance points and attacking the rim to generate offense. We’ll have to see if ‘Cuse can control the glass.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Question #3: Can the Orange score without relying on its outside shooting?

Syracuse’s jump shooting has waxed and waned throughout this season, most recently submitting a dismal 4/21 performance from three against #7 Notre Dame. The Orange have become more reliant on the outside shot, which has its pros and cons. Considering Georgia Tech only allows its opponents to shoot 26% from three, Syracuse will need to find other ways to generate points against the Yellow Jackets' perimeter defense.

Syracuse versus Georgia Tech preview by the numbers

All-time: Syracuse is 3-5 all-time against Georgia Tech, with the Orange losing its past four matchups against the Yellow Jackets.

Last matchup: The Orange fell 65-55 against the Yellow Jackets at home in January 2022.

Win/loss implications: A win gives Syracuse its first road victory against Georgia Tech since 2015 and its second road ACC victory. A defeat drops the Orange to .500 in ACC play and would give ‘Cuse its second-straight loss.

Prediction: I’m expecting a bounce-back win here considering Georgia Tech’s recent skid and Syracuse’s statistical advantage. The Yellow Jackets won’t make this an easy contest for the Orange, but I’ve got ‘Cuse winning 74-62.

Syracuse vs. Georgia Tech Team Stats

Statistical Categories Syracuse Georgia Tech
Statistical Categories Syracuse Georgia Tech
PPG 76.7 60
Opponent PPG 65.9 59.2
Margin of Victory plus-10.8 plus-0.8
FG% 43% 37%
Defensive FG% 39% 38%
3FG% 30% 28%
Defensive 3FG% 27% 26%
FT% 72% 78%
RPG 43.6 38.3
APG 13.9 11.1
T/O 15.4 16.2
A/T ratio 0.9 0.7
SPG 10.7 7.4
BPG 4.4 2.8