In a game that was supposed to be a sure thing for Syracuse, the Orange eeked out a comeback win 79-72. Georgia Tech came out firing offensively. In the first half, the Yellow Jackets were shooting almost 50% from the field. In contrast, SU shots less than 30%. It looked as though, Coach Boeheim’s team could sense it’s season was over. Syracuse was down by 11 a half, but something changed in the second half. SU started hitting it’s shots.
The Orange came out of the locker room on a 7-0 scoring run. Joe Girard facilitated the offensive and began to put points on the board. The freshman guard was one of four Syracuse players to put up double digits in scoring. Along with an improved performance from Marek Dolezaj, Buddy Boeheim, and Elijah Hughes, the Orange offensive shot over 60% from the field, which was major improvement from the half prior. The big three of Hughes, Boeheim, and Girard added a four member to their ranks, Marek Dolezaj.
Dolezaj had a pretty impressive stat line for this game. He finished 12-12 from the free throw line and complemented that with a 20-point performance. The junior only put up double-digits once last season and now he has been contributing consistently. The forward was two points shy of tying his season-high 22 points, which he completed against Duke earlier this month. One of Dolezaj’s major problem areas down the stretch has been foul trouble. That was not the case today. He was able to play all the minutes necessary to play such a significant role.
On the other hand, Bourama Sidibe fouled out once again, but in the most interesting way. Sidibe is notorious for getting into foul trouble early, but today he did not commit a single personal in the first half. All five came in a six minute span starting around the eight minute mark. The other unusual thing about this performance was that Sidibe looked like a force on offense. He only scored six points, but he collected 10 rebounds and went 3-5 from the field. The rebounds were huge in giving the Orange a chance to complete the comeback late. Syracuse outrebounded Georgia Tech 33-32 which was a difference in this game.
The Yellow Jackets had a standout performer. Moses Wright scored a career-high 33 points against the zone. Wright finished with a double-double, adding to 10 rebounds to his final stat line. The junior had a spectacular shooting game, shooting 14 of 17 from the field. The only downside to his game was his four personal fouls, but it did not stop him from being a dominant presence for almost the entire 40.
Syracuse beat Georgia Tech by 34 points in December, so that means SU swept the Yellow Jackets this season. They now sit at 8-8 in the ACC. The Orange have four conference games left. Winning out is possible and would give the team tremendous momentum before the ACC tournament .