Instant Juice: Syracuse 82, Virginia Tech 72

Judah Mintz
Jan 11 2023; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Judah Mintz speaks to the media following Syracuse's win over the Virginia Tech Hokies at the JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Gustin/The Juice Online.

A quick take on Syracuse’s 82-72 win against Virginia Tech on Wednesday evening:

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse, up 43-37 at intermission, began the second on a 12-2 run, and took a 55-39 lead after Joe Girard’s 3-pointer with 16:23 to go. The Orange would go up by as many as 22 points but Virginia Tech would make things interesting, with a Grant Basile free throw with 1:36 left made it 75-64. But Girard answered with a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession to put the game out of reach and the Orange picked up its 11th win of the season.

ANALYSIS: The stat sheet tells the story of this game. The Hokies shot just 3-19 from downtown, with Rodney Rice going 0-5 from beyond the arc, and Sean Pedulla hitting just 2 of his 11 attempts. Syracuse had no such trouble, with the Orange hitting 8 of 16 from 3-point land, with Chris Bell (2), Girard (3), Justin Taylor (2) and Symir Torrence (1) each connecting. The win leaves the Orange tied for third in the conference with a 4-2 record, just 1.5 games behind 5-0 Clemson. With traditional powers Duke (4-2) and UNC (3-3) struggling, the ACC is more open than in recent memory.

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HERO: Girard finished with a game-high 24 points while Maliq Brown came off the bench for 11 points and 12 rebounds. Taylor added 10 points, while Mintz (12) and Edwards (13 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists) also starred.

ZERO: Benny Williams, two games removed from one of his best performances of the season, had just one point and two rebounds. And, in the latest instance of #FreeThrowsMatter, the Orange shot just 14-22 from the line, with Girard missing a highly uncharacteristic three of four free throws.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse stays at home, and hosts Notre Dame on Saturday at 7 p.m. TV: ACCN.

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, 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 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]