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Syracuse Loses Another Game in the Final Seconds Against Virginia Tech

After a brutal loss to Notre Dame on Saturday, the Syracuse Men’s Basketball team returned to the Dome hoping to notch their second ACC win. Unfortunately for Jim Boeheim’s team, it dropped another close game in the final seconds. This was a much-win game for Syracuse who is struggling to beat notable opponents which will be important come March. 

  To start this game, both teams struggled to get any offense going. It was almost two minutes into the game before either team put points on the board. After jump shots from both Landers Nolley III and Elijah Hughes, the game remained without another score change for three minutes. This was pretty much the tone for most of the first half. Slow on both sides. The Orange found a way to muster up some offense and lead by six going into the half. This boost is largely due to freshman point guard Joe Girard III. He was the only Syracuse player to score double digits in the first half and  continued to build off his big game against ND. 

The second half is where the wheels started to fall off for Syracuse. The last twenty minutes of play mirrored the beginning of the first. Accuracy was no where to be seen from offense that needs successful three-point shooter to be effective. This half ended with SU only shooting 20% from behind the arch. It is no secret this team relies heavily on the three-point shot and it was non-existent in the second half. Three-point shots were not the only shots the Orange struggled to make, field goal percent was less than 40%. A late comeback attempt just fell short. Down by six with nine seconds left, a successful comeback seemed very unlikely but then freshman Qunicy Guerrier dunked to bring Syracuse within three and bring some hope.  But to save time, SU had to foul and the Nolley III hit both of his free throws to put the game out of reach. Buddy Boeheim attempted to throw up a miracle three-pointer down by four in the final seconds but missed. Similarly to the loss against the Fighting Irish, the Orange lost to the Hokies with a final three-point attempt to close, but this time with a little less controversy. 

A lot of eyes were on freshmen tonight. Girard III, Quincy Guerrier, but the one who stood out the most was Virginia Tech’s Jalen Cone. Cone led all scorers with 19 on the night, which is a career-high for the freshmen. With plenty of good shooters on the court, Cone finished with the most hitting five out of seven from beyond the arch. Before this matchup, Cone only averaged 5.6 points per game, so this was a breakout performance for him. 

This loss brought the Syracuse record to 8-7 with the defending national champions up next. Last time the Orange play Virginia it was the season-opener where SU loss 48-34. Syracuse has not found success against conference opponents and have only won one game thus far. Saturday is a good opportunity to resume build against the Cavaliers.