A quick take on Syracuse’s gutsy comeback in its 68-60 overtime win against Virginia Tech at the Dome on Tuesday night:
WHAT HAPPENED: On a night in which Syracuse (16-8, 6-5) debuted new alternate home white uniforms with ‘CUSE across the front and some other minor design changes, SU simply did not come to play for the first 35 minutes to win an ACC game against a rising program. Virginia Tech (12-11, 4-6) had lost four straight coming into the game, but the Hokies never trailed in regulation. After Michael Gbinije’s three pointer tied the game at 56 in the final :30, Tech missed its chance at the go ahead basket, allowing Malachi Richardson to just miss the game-winning jumper at the regulation buzzer. In overtime, Gbinije gave the Orange their first lead of the night before Trevor Cooney and Richardson hit big three pointers to finally spurn Tech’s upset bid.
ANALYSIS: It was a night that neither team was offensively productive, in fact both teams were still stuck in the 30s with under 10:00 to play. The Orange went through minutes-long scoring droughts in each half, before scrambling back from nine down in the final five minutes to send the game into overtime. Once Syracuse had second life, SU outscored Va. Tech 15-4 to finally get above .500 in conference play.
HERO: Who else but the fifth year leader Gbinije? Not only did he tie the the game with his three point bomb late in regulation, he then confidently nailed the first basket in overtime to give the Orange their first lead on route to pulling away in the extra session. Gbinije finished with 17 points, three assists, three rebounds and two blocks.
ZERO: Stop changing the uniforms on the whim of Nike. there was absolutely nothing wrong with the new set of home/away uniforms that debuted this season. Every time Syracuse dons a new alternate jersey of some sort, bad karma happens, such as the loss two years ago to Boston College in the Dome ending the 25-0 start, and the 2008 defeat wearing blue alternates at Notre Dame.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse finishes out its four game, 14 day home stand following a little over a one week break when it hosts Florida State on Thursday, Feb. 11. The Seminoles (15-7, 5-5) are next in action Saturday at Wake Forest before heading to the Dome. Game Time: 7 p.m. ET / TV: ESPN or ESPN2.