Instant Juice: Syracuse 56, Virginia Tech 78

Syracuse guard Tyus Battle looks to shoot. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

A quick take on Syracuse’s 78-56 blowout loss to No.10 Virginia Tech Saturday night, at sold-out and rocking Cassell Coliseum on the Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va.:

WHAT HAPPENED:  Syracuse (14-6, 5-2) had its modest three game ACC winning streak come to a screeching halt by the red-hot shooting of the Hokies, and its own failure to get the ball in the basket.  Syracuse had a shot clock violation on its first possession of the game, trailed the entire night, made a momentary comeback bid early in the second half, before Tech pulled away to the delight of the home crowd playing like a Top 10 ranked team.

» Related: Upcoming road games critical to Syracuse’s season

ANALYSIS: On a night in which pink and orange were the uniform colors on the court (the home team was wearing pink uniforms and the VT coaching staff pink sneakers  to support the Coaches vs. Cancer movement),  the ‘Cuse left the floor with red faces after seemingly not being able to do anything right in the first half, trailing by 19 and scoring only 24 points, and sputtering even further offensively in the second half of the game .  Passing at times effortlessly and mostly efficiently, Virginia Tech (16-3, 5-2) found the open man time and again on offense, while shutting down the SU scoring the entire evening with a strong man-to-man defense.

HERO: Virginia Tech senior guard Justin Robinson matched the entire SU scoring output at halftime with 24 points and finished with an impressive evening of a career-high 35 points on a school-record 9-for-11 shooting beyond the arc, along with eight assists to break the school’s all-time mark with the great Bimbo Coles (1986-1990).

ZERO: Where to begin?  The Orange self-destructed from the get-go never leading, turning the ball over 14 times, struggled as much as they have all season scoring, committing four shot clock violations, and getting zero point production off the bench until Buddy Boeheim hit a late three-pointer with the game already decided.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse continues its three game road trip facing Boston College on Wednesday night, Jan. 30 at Conte Forum in suburban Boston.  Last season the teams split their two games each winning at home, SU by 18, BC by 15.  The Eagles (11-7, 2-4) got a precious ACC road win Saturday at Wake Forest 65-61, when guard Ky Bowman drilled a three-point shot just ahead of the shot clock buzzer with 14.6 to play.  Game Time: 8:00 p.m. ET.  TV: ACC Network.

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.