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Success from deep, Maliq Brown shines

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Virginia Tech misplaced four-straight video games heading into Wednesday evening, however the losses had all been by single digits. The Orange took maintain of the sport early, although Virginia Tech confirmed why it has stayed shut in opposition to opponents, happening a 10-0 run to get again inside 12 within the second half. However it would not be sufficient, as SU continued to construct on its lead off turnovers from Virginia Tech, resulting in a double-digit loss in opposition to the Orange.

Syracuse was led by a 21-point efficiency from Joe Girard III whereas 4 different SU gamers completed with double-digit factors. Maliq Brown recorded a double-double as nicely, the primary of his profession.

Listed here are some observations from Syracuse’s 82-72 win over Virginia Tech:

Early hassle from Justyn Mutts

Like most groups anticipating Syracuse to open with the zone, the Hokies had a plan coming into Wednesday evening—get the ball to Justyn Mutts in the course of the courtroom and see how the Orange would react. Syracuse hasn’t been collapsing on gamers in the course of the paint, leaving Jesse Edwards to cope with potential scorers whereas additionally specializing in plugging passing lanes again or defending the kick-out choices as an alternative.

Mutts caught the ball close to the highest of the paint on Virginia Tech’s first possession, rapidly turning round and floating the ball in together with his proper hand. He mimicked that play a number of extra occasions within the possession, utilizing his smooth arms to rattle the ball into the basket, answering an Edwards alley-oop seven minutes into the sport.

However Mutts was extra harmful when he shared the rock, both passing again to the highest of the important thing or turning round and ready for one more Hokies’ participant to emerge open. Normally, somebody from VT obtained behind Edwards, and Syracuse did not rotate to assist till later within the first half.

On back-to-back performs two minutes in, Mutts pressured quick, low passes to Grant Basile, who stationed behind Edwards initially of each possessions. No assist got here both time and Basile hit each simple photographs immediately below the basket.

Success from deep

Virginia Tech likes to shoot from past the arc, particularly with a menace like Sean Pedulla, who’s taking pictures 35% from 3-point vary. The Orange, not a lot. Girard is averaging 3.1 3-pointers per sport, however has tried the second-least variety of 3s within the ACC.

Nonetheless, Virginia Tech allowed Syracuse to fireplace from long-range early and Syracuse chucked up three-straight 3-pointers within the opening three minutes of the sport. Solely the primary one really fell via with Chris Bell nailing the shot from the left nook after the Orange threw it to Edwards inside.

SU did not rating from deep once more till Justin Taylor, who has emerged as a tertiary choice for Syracuse’s offense, checked into the sport. Much like what Syracuse has achieved with Girard over latest years, Jim Boeheim had Taylor curl over off-ball screens into open spots on the wing.

Taylor nailed the deep shot on his first try, sprinting to the left wing and losing no time to raise after a fast go from Girard initially of a possession halfway via the primary. Three minutes later, following a 3-pointer from Pedulla, Taylor drilled one other 3, this break day a dish from Judah Mintz on the reverse wing.

Girard and Symir Torrence added two extra makes from deep within the opening half, serving to Syracuse shoot 50% from past the arc within the first.

Edwards will get again in rhythm

Edwards entered Wednesday’s contest after his worst offensive efficiency of the season, scoring 4 factors in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Sunday. In opposition to UVA’s in-state rival although, Edwards re-emerged as an offensive menace, scoring greater than 12 factors for the primary time since Syracuse’s win over Georgetown on Dec. 10.

Edwards took benefit of his dimension, scoring his first factors of the evening in transition off a excessive lob from Girard, which he reached up for and slammed in from the suitable facet. Edwards labored on his personal on the following play, retaining the ball excessive and embracing contact from Mylyjael Poteat earlier than laying it in.

He completed with 9 factors within the first half and 4 assists as nicely, together with a easy go to Brown after he was doubled in the course of the paint. Edwards continued to anchor Syracuse’s protection within the second, which significantly improved within the latter half.

Maliq Brown continues to shine

Whereas Taylor added some key baskets from outdoors, Brown continued his play as one other large for Syracuse. He completed with 10 factors and eight rebounds in opposition to Virginia, once more serving to out on the glass and discovering some offensive success with 11 factors and 12 rebounds.

After getting an offensive rebound with 11 minutes left within the first, Edwards dished to Brown over two defenders for a simple end. Within the second half, Brown continued to pair completely with Edwards inside, amassing his personal miss and laying the ball again in with 14 minutes left within the sport.

Brown positioned himself on the suitable facet of the basket seven minutes later, serving to SU reply again from a 10-0 run by Virginia Tech. Edwards was the one which discovered him, firing a low go to Brown on the suitable facet, giving him sufficient area to attain on a reverse layup. He additionally put again a missed alley-oop from Edwards.

Contact Anish: [email protected] | @anish_vasu

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