The Syracuse Orange started off slow against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, but a 17-point run catapulted them into the lead, which they never relinquished in an 80-63 win. Joe Girard dominated in the first half and ended with a team-best 28 points, while Maliq Brown continued his emergence with a career-high 18 points off the bench.
Jesse Edwards got SU’s scoring started with a layup inside the first minute. He would finish with 14 points on the afternoon. The Orange defense would struggle early, as GT went out to a seven-point lead, shooting 7/8 from the field and 2/3 from distance to start. That lead would grow to eleven before the Orange counterattack began.
A Symir Torrence basket at 10:48 kicked off the 17-0 run that turned the tide of this game. Most of that run was the Joe Girard show, with the Guard draining a trio of trifectas and 13 of his 18 1st-half points. At this point, you could hear the echoes of “Let’s Go Orange” from the large amount of ‘Cuse fans that made their way to Atlanta.
After going into halftime with a seven-point lead, the Orange continued to control the tempo. Jesse drew a foul and made both free throws to extend the lead to nine.
Between shots at the line, Maliq came in for Benny, then scored off a rebound on the next possession for SU’s first double-digit lead of the game. Georgia Tech was running into serious foul troubles by this point, with Jalon Moore sitting dangerously at four and Miles Kelly up to three.
While the first half was all JGIII on the scoresheet, the later 20 was headlined by SU’s emerging forward. Brown was a perfect 6/6 from the field during that time. A booming dunk of his that made the score 69-57 was soon followed by this two-way play:
While Girard was not contributing as much in the points category by this point, he dished out five of his seven assists to the other Orange scorers.
The Orange shot 55% from the field and 43% from the arc in what was an encouraging performance all around. Judah Mintz also had a bounceback game with 13 points and six assists.
The victory moves Syracuse to 13-7 and 6-3 in ACC play. The Orange return to the Dome Tuesday night for a late tip-off against the UNC Tar Heels.