Virginia Tech led #5 Syracuse for most of the game, but a big 17-3 run in the second half propelled the Orange to a 69-58 victory in Madison Square Garden. The Hokies dropped to 3-1 on the season, and will now play Oklahoma State in the consolation game of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
A big follow up dunk by Victor Davila put Virginia Tech up 42-39 with 13:28 remaining in the game. That’s when Syracuse embarked on their huge run to take the lead for the first time of the game and then to pull away from the smaller Hokies.
Jarell Eddie began the game with a three-pointer, and he was Tech’s leading scorer last night. He tied a career-high with 17 points, and set a new career-high with five assists. Eddie also had two blocks, four rebounds, and did not commit a turnover in 35 minutes. He was 6-of-14 from the field and 2-of-6 from three-point range.
Erick Green had a good game, with 14 points and five rebounds. Green showed off a noticeably improved jumpshot, going 5-of-10 from the field and 4-of-7 from the outside. He also had three steals in 36 minutes of action.
Dorenzo Hudson chipped in with 13 points in 38 minutes, going a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line. As a team, the Hokies shot 20-of-47 (42.6%) overall and 8-of-19 (42.1%) from three-point range. They were also 10-of-12 from the free throw line.
Dorian Finney-Smith had just two points in his first game away from Cassell Coliseum, though he did lead the team with seven rebounds while dishing out three assists. However, he also had a team-high four turnovers. It was turnovers that bothered the Hokies all night against the longer, more athletic Orange. Tech had 16 turnovers, while Syracuse had only nine. The Orange scored 22 points off turnovers, while the Hokies scored just nine, and that was the difference in the game.
Tech was also outrebounded 32-27. They had only 19 defensive rebounds on a total of 32 missed shots by Syracuse, so the trend of poor defensive rebounded continued, though it was actually a little better in this game considering the competition. The Orange had 12 offensive rebounds.
The Hokies will take Thursday off before facing Oklahoma State at 2:30pm on Friday. The game will be televised by either ESPN or ESPN2.