Syracuse can’t find the edge, more takeaways from No. 10 Virginia Tech’s win over SU

first_imgBLACKSBURG, Va. — No. 10 Virginia Tech (16-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast) rode a hot-shooting start to stay perfect on its home court this season in a win over Syracuse (14-6, 5-2), 78-56. Coming off three-straight wins, SU had no answer on the defensive end and now no longer sits tied atop the ACC.Here are some takeaways from the Hokies’ win over the Orange.Mr. RobinsonJustin Robinson usually runs the show for Virginia Tech as its senior, lefty point guard. In the first half against Syracuse on Saturday night, he took scoring matters into his own hands.By halftime, Robinson had made seven 3s. That became his new career-high for a full game. Syracuse had 24 points at halftime, and so did Robinson.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe southpaw constantly busted the SU zone. VT used solid ball rotation to create open shot after open shot, and Robinson was often the beneficiary at the end of a drive-and-kick or a ball swing around the perimeter. The Hokies made 10 3s as a team in the first half.Syracuse limited Robinson out of the break, forcing him to pass off due to tight close outs. The Orange got back into the game, temporarily, to open the second half. Robinson didn’t hit a field goal for much of the second half, but he nailed a late 3 just as SU head coach Jim Boeheim sent three subs to the table. And then he hit one more, finishing with a career-high 35, and the VT fans chanted “J-Rob.”No edgeVirginia Tech entered the game with a top-100 defense, per Kenpom.com. But the Hokies gave SU as much trouble as any team this season early on, preventing Orange dribblers from finding any space to drive the ball. Each drive was met with quick sliding feet or a help defender. That forced Syracuse to fire up tough jump shots with time winding down in the shot clock.Entering halftime, SU had been called for three shot clock violations. That equaled the number of points Elijah Hughes, Syracuse’s second-leading scorer, had at the break. Hughes’ struggles continued, finishing 2-of-13 from the floor, including making just 2 for 9 from 3.That offensive flow changed to start the second half as the Orange tried to cut away at a big deficit. But then the Hokies rotations became crisp again. The Orange struggled to find an edge, allowing Virginia Tech needed to pull away.Breaking outComing out of the halftime break, Syracuse looked like a different team. The Orange scored the second half’s first 11 points by getting to the rim and getting stops.Battle drove for a floater. Brissett threw down a dunk. Paschal Chukwu had a putback. Brissett finished with the left after a hop step. That stretch also included three free throws.Isaiah Wilkins hit a reverse layup to end that stretch, but it got the Orange back into the ball game because they held the Hokies scoreless for almost five minutes, including two misses from the red-hot Robinson.But then the Hokies answered with a 14-1 run of their own, securing the ballgame. The Orange couldn’t make up a 21-point deficit with less than 10 minutes to play. Comments Published on January 26, 2019 at 10:19 pm Contact Billy: [email protected] | @Wheyen3center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img