A quick take on Syracuse’s disappointing overall performance in its 73-59 loss to Georgia Tech, in front of an early-departing Dome crowd Saturday evening:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse (11-5, 2-1) saw its four game winning streak come to a screeching halt, and it wasn’t pretty, as SU dropped its first ACC game and had trouble putting the ball in the basket (31% shooting) all night. While the Orange offense struggled from the outside, Tech simply out-hustled, out-thought, and was the more hungrier team than SU in the second half.
ANALYSIS: What’s new? If the shots aren’t falling, and the ball movement produces too few points in the paint (16 – many points coming late with the game decided), then it it’s going to be a tough game to expect the Orange defensive effort to make up for the lack of production.. Of the 57 shots the ‘Cuse hoisted, 33 were from beyond the arc. Georgia Tech (10-6, 2-1) on the other hand was smart with its shot selection, passed patiently against the zone defense (16 assists) and beat the Orange downcourt time and again in the second half maintaining a double digit lead and thwarting any SU thoughts of a comeback win.
HERO: Yellow Jackets guard Jose Alvarado missed only two of his shots (FG/FT) all night in calmly directing the one-sided outcome. Alvarado finished with a game-high 19 points, along with three rebounds, two assists, and three steals, as he was pesky defensively.
ZERO: Syracuse’s body language was not good in the second half as the Jackets opened up an 18 point lead with 11:41 to play, and there was never a sense that the Orange was going to make a comeback. Tyus Battle struggled scoring all night finishing with 10 points on 3-for-12 shooting, and SU was 7 for 33 from three point range.
WHAT’S NEXT: A quick turnaround. Syracuse travels to Cameron Indoor Stadium in two days for a meeting with top-ranked Duke and a “Big Monday” telecast Jan. 14. SU is 3-5 vs. the Blue Devils since joining the ACC in 2013-14, including a 69-65 loss in last year’s NCAA Sweet 16, and a 16 point defeat at Durham. Duke (14-1, 3-0) edged No. 13 Florida State on the road Saturday 80-78 as freshman guard Cam Reddish drilled a 3-point basket with 0.8 seconds to play. Fellow freshman standout Zion Williamson suffered an eye injury late in the first half (11 points) and did not return to play. Game Time: 7:00 p.m. ET / TV: ESPN.