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Syracuse men's basketball gets blown out at home 96-76 by Georgia Tech

Syracuse center Jesse Edwards put up 18 points in the 96-76 loss to Georgia Tech on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
Syracuse center Jesse Edwards put up 18 points in the 96-76 loss to Georgia Tech on Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Syracuse Men’s Basketball (16-14, 9-10) lost its fourth straight game in a 96-76 defeat to Georgia Tech (13-17, 4-14) at the JMA Wireless Dome. The Orange defense held the Yellow Jackets to 63 points in a 17-point win a little over one month ago.

Syracuse got the game started with a Benny Williams layup just four seconds in. That was about the last time the SU fans got excited. Sophomore Miles Kelly answered with a three-pointer to start the night for Georgia Tech. The guard had entered the game with 70 made triples, tied for seventh in the ACC.

“We came out with a mindset not to let Kelly shoot, and he was wide open on the first one,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said after the game.

Kelly went on to set career highs in the Georgia Tech victory, including 30 points, ten made baskets, and most importantly, seven converted threes.

The Orange had no response to the Yellow Jackets’ offense. Georgia Tech started the game hitting six of its first ten three-point-attempts. That set the tone for the rest of the game, as the 18 triples made by the Yellow Jackets set an all-time school record. Georgia Tech also tried a season-high 40 shots from beyond the arc. The previous high for the team this season was in the last matchup with Syracuse in January.

The 96 points put up by Georgia Tech ties a season-high. The Yellow Jackets defeated Alabama St. 96-60 in December. Besides that, Georgia Tech entered Tuesday’s game averaging just 68.6 points, 12th in the conference.

On the other side, Syracuse only converted four threes the whole game. Freshman Judah Mintz was just 1-6 from deep; his 23 points led the Orange. Jesse Edwards contributed 18 points and eight rebounds. Benny Williams and Joe Girard also had double-digit points in the losing effort.

The loss for the Orange continues a trend in the wrong direction. Two weeks ago, the Orange was looking for a scenario to sneak into the NCAA Tournament after the team’s first Quad 1 of the season against No. 23 NC State. Then, the Orange gave up 13 threes in a 22-point defeat to Duke. The Orange followed that up by allowing 14 triples in a 91-73 loss to Clemson. The defense never recovered, allowing 99 points (16 threes) to Pitt. Tuesday’s loss just continued the bleeding for Syracuse.

“We’ve had four in a row where we couldn’t stop anything, literally anything,” Jim Boeheim said following the loss to Georgia Tech. “We played Pittsburgh a little bit for 25 minutes but we haven’t been able to guard anything.”

Tuesday’s loss brings SU back to the 1960-1961 season. That was the last time the Orange had lost four straight by 17 or more points, as well as the last time Syracuse allowed 90 or more points in three straight. SU finished that season 4-19.

Syracuse has one more opportunity to earn a win in the regular season. SU meets Wake Forest (18-12, 10-9) for the first time this campaign on Saturday, March 3. The game is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. WAER’s coverage kicks off with McClurg Team Countdown to Tipoff set for 4:30