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Syracuse pulls away, cruises over Virginia Tech

Jan 11, 2023; Syracuse, New York, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies guard Sean Pedulla (3) reacts to a foul by Syracuse Orange guard Justin Taylor (behind) in the first half at JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Girard scored 24 points to propel Syracuse to a smooth 82-72 home win over Virginia Tech in Atlantic Coast Conference action Wednesday.

Four other players scored in double figures for the Orange (11-6, 4-2 ACC), who shot well from the field (50.8 percent) and the 3-point line (8-for-16). The Hokies, meanwhile, shot just 3 of 19 from long distance.

Jesse Edwards contributed 13 points, nine rebounds, six assists and two blocks for Syracuse. Judah Mintz added 12 points, Maliq Brown notched 11 points and 12 rebounds and Justin Taylor chipped in 10 points.

Virginia Tech (11-6, 1-5) was led by Grant Basile’s 26 points and 10 rebounds. Justyn Mutts had 21 points and nine assists, while Lynn Kidd chipped in 10 points, as did Sean Pedulla — who added seven assists and six rebounds.

Neither team led by more than five over the first 15 minutes of the game until Syracuse began to create some separation late in the first half.

Symir Torrence made a 3-pointer to give the Orange a 34-28 lead with 3:54 to go, and Girard knocked down a shot from outside the arc to make it an eight-point game with 33 seconds remaining in the half. Two free throws by Darius Maddox allowed the Hokies to get within 43-37 at the break.

Syracuse stormed out of the gates in the second half, scoring 20 of the first 24 points. Girard got the party started with a jumper and Chris Bell followed with a 3-pointer. The burst also featured a three-point play by Mintz and six more points from Girard before Brown’s dunk made it 63-41 with 12 1/2 minutes left.

Virginia Tech began to surge about 90 seconds later, beginning with six straight points by Basile. Mutts then added two free throws and a layup to complete a 10-0 run, making it 65-53 with 8:15 to go.

However, Syracuse quickly stabilized, pushing the lead back to 75-57 with 3:18 remaining. with Girard scoring four points during that sequence.

The Hokies scored 15 points in the final 3:05 to make the final score more respectable.

–Field Level Media