The Jackets fell to the Orange 80–63 in their game on Saturday, Jan. 21 at McCamish Pavilion.
Syracuse was led by senior guard Joseph Girard III, who exploded for 28 points, 7 assists and 6–10 from three. Tech’s resistance was led by sophomore guard Deebo Coleman, who had his best game of the season scoring 17 points and hitting 5 threes on 62.5% from behind the line. Despite Coleman’s excellent game, the Jackets fell to the Orange, pushing the team’s record to 8–11 overall and 1–8 in ACC play.
Tech started off well building an 11-point lead before a timeout stopped their momentum. Syracuse brought on freshman forward Maliq Brown, one of the highest energy players in the ACC, and the team as a whole started a full court press in order to force Tech to make sharper and quicker decisions. The change of system from head coach Jim Boeheim worked had Syracuse leading 40–33 going into half off the back of 17-point scoring run.
In the first period, Tech committed 12 turnovers compared to Syracuse’s five, with 18 Syracuse points coming directly from those turnovers compared to Tech’s four.
The Jackets left the locker room at half time hoping to start the second period like they started the first. The Jackets and the Orange traded possessions and points for most of the half, but Syracuse never looked to be in trouble. The lead at one point would close to 5, but Syracuse pulled ahead and outscored Tech by 18 in the paint and 17 overall.
Tech head coach Josh Pastner highlighted some of the positives of the performance at the post-game press conference.
He spoke to the high quality starts that the Jackets have had recently, saying “Our starts have been outstanding during this stretch, we just haven’t been able to maintain the 40 minutes.”
He also praised the team’s unselfishness with the ball. “I love that we had 20 assists on 25 made field goals, that’s an outstanding stat.”
One thing that Coach Pastner continued to bring up when talking about the team was the lack of scoring overall.
“You just can’t turnover,” said Pastner. “We need points, we got to get the 70. Today we had 63 points and a lot of that was because of the turnovers.”
Pastner was also asked about the environment in McCamish, which was noisy from the large contingent of Syracuse fans and alumni at the game supporting the Orange. He spoke to the importance of winning to gather support for the school, saying “The frustration from the fans, the disappointment from them — they have every right to be disappointed and frustrated because we’re just, we’re not winning and we’re not getting it done and we got to win, and to win the crowd you got to win games.”
The Jackets will play against Duke at home on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 3:00pm. The Blue Devils have a 14-6 record overall and 5-4 in ACC play. Duke is coming off the back of a tough loss against the Virginia Tech Hokies — their sixth loss on the road — so the Jackets have an opportunity to continue the Blue Devils’ downward momentum at this weekend’s game.