Syracuse basketball subdues Georgia Tech for first ACC win

Hughes Georgia Tech
Nov. 29, 2019; Atlanta, GA, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Elijah Hughes speaks with reporters following a 97-63 win over Georgia Tech at the McCamish Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Dagostino, The Juice Online.

Saturday afternoon, Elijah Hughes and Buddy Boeheim took turns torching the Georgia Tech defense, each burying a half dozen threes as they set career highs in scoring as Syracuse romped to a 97-63 road win. The Orange (5-4, 1-1 ACC) got 33 points from Hughes and 26 from Boeheim as each player dominated a half of the game.

Hughes, the redshirt junior forward, poured in 26 first half points, nearly outscoring the Yellow Jackets (4-3, 1-1) by himself in that time. Boeheim, the sophomore guard, took over after halftime, pouring in 20 points in the second session.

SU had its best overall effort of the season. The team shot just under 51 percent from the floor and made 14 threes at a 42.4 percent clip. The Orange also made 25-of-30 free throws, owned a 40-30 advantage in rebounding, and held Tech to just over 38 percent shooting while forcing 19 turnovers.

Georgia Tech started off fine, sandwiching an Elijah Hughes three with a pair of baskets. That was the end of good things for the hosts.

Hughes was just starting to torment the Jackets, as he worked his way around the arc burying a three from the right corner, another from deep on the right wing, and a third from the left wing. Syracuse kept it rolling, as Buddy Boeheim drained a three from above the left corner and Bourama Sidibe dunked home a miss to make it 14 straight points and a 17-4 lead with less than four-and-a-half minutes off the clock.

Georgia Tech got a triple to halt their scoreless streak, but SU kept piling on, scoring a dozen of the next 15 points. Following a Joe Girard III pull-up jumper, Hughes and Marek Dolezaj did the rest of the heavy lifting. Dolezaj delivered a bounce pass to Hughes, who backdoored the Tech defense for a dunk, then made a pair of free throws. Hughes chased a Jackets’ basket with a soft bank shot. Dolezaj made one of two from the line, then, after a GT free throw, Hughes dropped in three straight foul shots.

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Hughes’ final free throw in the barrage gave Syracuse a 29-10 lead with 10:37 left in the first half, effectively ending the competitive part of the game.

Georgia Tech scored seven of eight points to close the gap to 13, but the Orange ran off seven straight points later in the half to push the lead to 21. Hughes and Dolezaj took care of all the scoring, as Hughes wrapped a three and a pair of foul shots around a Dolezaj turnaround jumper from the foul line. With that burst in the books, SU was doubling up their hosts, 42-21, and eventually took a 48-28 halftime lead.

In the opening minutes of the second half, Boeheim scored the game’s next eight points, opening the run by burying a wide open three off a crosscourt pass The Yellow Jackets chipped away at the lead, pulling within 21, but eight straight Orange points ended any comeback dreams. Hughes got an easy dunk after SU beat the GT press, then Girard hit threes on consecutive trips for a 71-42 advantage.

Syracuse had one more run left in them, outscoring Tech 18-7 in a little over five minutes, closing the span with a streak of seven straight points. The closing kick stretched the lead to its greatest point of the game at 93-56 with 2:31 to play.

Elijah Hughes’ career day was highlighted by his marksmanship, as he made 10-of-15 shots from the floor, including 6-of-11 threes, and all seven of his foul shots. Buddy Boeheim went 8-for-15, including 6-of-13 from long range. Marek Dolezaj filled almost every corner of the stat sheet, contributing 11 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and three steals. Joe Girard III chipped in with ten points and Bourama Sidibe had eight boards and five steals.

Moses Wright topped the Yellow Jackets with 17 points and nine rebounds. Bubba Parham had 11 points while James Banks III and Khalid Moore each added eight. Michael DeVoe, who entered the game leading the ACC with 23.8 points per game, had seven points on 2-of-12 shooting on the day.

The Orange are off until next Saturday, when they will have another road game, this time against longtime rival Georgetown. The Hoyas (5-3) will have a road game at Southern Methodist tonight prior to facing SU.

It has been an up-and-down season for Georgetown, as they have defeated then-#22 Texas, but also lost to then-#1 Duke and removed two players from the roster earlier this week for disciplinary reasons. Omer Yurtseven leads the Hoyas in scoring, rebounding, and blocked shots, posting 16.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per outing.

Tip-off is set for 1:00pm Eastern on Saturday with FOX handling the television duties.

from Dolezaj, then swishing another trey from the same neighborhood. Boeheim then curled into a 17-footer that was clean and the Syracuse lead swelled to 56-28.

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Jim Stechschulte
About Jim Stechschulte 619 Articles
A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade, where he currently resides. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. Follow him on Twitter @DSafetyGuy.