The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-5, 0-2 ACC) are still looking for their first conference win after falling to the Syracuse Orange (11-4, 2-0 ACC) 46-45 at McCamish Pavilion.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
This is a game that Georgia Tech is going to look back on a say they should have won.
In the first half, the feeling out process was alive and well. Syracuse started off 1 of 9 shooting from the floor and then picked up their shooting going 4 of 5 to grab a 12-11 lead midway though the half.
Georgia Tech was standing toe-to-toe with the Orange because of Charles Mitchell’s interior muscle, and the Jackets’ vastly improved execution against the 2-3 zone.
The Jackets were able to grab a 24-22 lead with five minutes to go in the half when Marcus Georges-Hunt finished strong at the cup for the basket and the foul.
That play was not enough to spark a run in a very hard fought first half.
Rakeem Christmas knocked down a 15-footer from the free throw line area to give Syracuse a 28-27 lead going into the locker room.
The first half was as even on the stat sheet as it was on the scoreboard.
Yellow Jackets had a rebounding edge at 23-22. Georgia Tech shot 10 of 28 (35.7%) from the floor compared to Syracuse’s 11 of 33 (33.3%) shooting.
Syracuse had seven assisted bucket to the Jackets six assists.
Jan 7, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Rakeem Christmas (25) attempts a shot against Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets forward Charles Mitchell (0) in the first half of their game at McCamish Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
The second half was just as tight as the first half, just a tad more sloppy.
The game was tied at 33-33 with 11 minutes left, and no one looked like they were going to take control.
Tech caught a little fire from that point to grab a 41-37 lead with Georges-Hunt and Jorgenson hitting treys. However, from the 8:51 mark on, Georgia Tech could not buy a bucket.
The Jackets managed to only score four points for the remainder of the game. The Orange outscored Tech 9-4 to get the win.
This loss is annoying for Georgia Tech fans. Reason being that the Yellow Jackets execution was poor for so long in the second half, and it was not going to take many points to get the win.
Charles Mitchell, who finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, seemed to fatigue as the game wore on.
No one else was able to get a couple buckets to pick up the slack.
This is really a game where you want your best offensive players to look for their offense aggressively.
It is understood that this was a defensive battle, but Marcus Georges-Hunt who finished with nine points and six rebounds, should have had more than eight shot attempts in the game.
That is not a criticism on his performance. Buckets were hard to come by as a whole, with the Jackets hitting only 26.8% from the field.
But in games where points are scarce, you need your best offensive players looking to get off shots.
Syracuse was able to get 18 points and eight rebounds from Rakeem Christmas ,with Michael Gbinije finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
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Trevor Cooney finished with nine point hitting 2 of 6 three-point attempts and 3 of 10 field goals overall.
If you were going to point at one reason for why Syracuse is leaving the Flats with a win while the Jackets drop to 0-2 in ACC play, it would be that Syracuse’s big guns were aggressive when it mattered and Georgia Tech’s were not.
Tech will have an opportunity to get off their small skid on the road Saturday against Wake Forest.