Instant Juice: Syracuse 56, Virginia 75

A quick take on Syracuse’s 75-56 loss against Virginia on Saturday evening:

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse and Virginia played to a 40-40 stalemate with 13:55 left in the game. But Virginia completely took control from there, using a 9-2 run punctuated by a London Perrantes 3-pointer with 8:46 left to give Virginia a 49-42 lead. The Cavaliers utterly dominated the second half, exploding for 45 points in what was originally billed as a defensive slugfest.

» Related: What has caused all of these close games for SU recently?

Virginia

Virginia clinched the ACC regular season title

ANALYSIS: This may have been Syracuse’s first matchup against Virginia a member of the ACC, but the Cavaliers looked like they’ve played against the SU zone for years. Virginia completely dissected the 2-3 zone, shooting nearly 50 percent from the field and 8 for 15 from beyond the arc. The Cavaliers also only turned the ball over five times. Meanwhile, the Orange offense continues to stagnate with too much one-on-one play. Syracuse only assisted on 8 of its 20 field goals. By comparison, Virginia had 19 assists for their 28 field goals. SU finished shooting a putrid 35 percent from the field and 5 for 22 from downtown.

HERO: Virginia won the regular season ACC crowd for just the second team in school history, and first time since Ralph Sampson’s 1981 team. They won by playing how they’ve played all season, with a complete team effort. Six different players scored six points or more, with Malcolm Brogdon leading the way with 19 points.

ZERO: Syracuse was completely obliterated in the rebounding department, ceding a 39-29 advantage to the Cavaliers. Virignia’s 13 offensive rebounds led to 21 second chance points. Part of that had to do with Jerami Grant, SU’s leading rebounder, missing the entire second half due to a back injury, and looking mostly ineffective in his first half minutes.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will play its final home game of the season against Georgia Tech on Tuesday, March 4 at 7 p.m. TV: ACC Network.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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