Categorized | 2011-12 Season, Game Recaps

Recap | #5 syracuse 69 (5-0), VT 58 (3-1) | NIT Semi-Finals

Highlights will be up by 1 AM on HOKIE DAY | Boxscore

The Hokies led for 27 minutes of this game.  Unfortunately, it was the first 27 minutes.  Tech jumped ahead 3-0 30 seconds into their game with #5 syracuse and led every second until cuse tied it at 42 with 13 minutes to go.  The orange promptly went ahead 44-42 on a C.J. Fair dunk with 12:10 to go and blew the doors off the Hokies after that, going on to win 69-58.  The win was largely fueled by an 11-0 run that turned a 42-39 Hokie lead into a 50-42 hole.  VT did battle after that, getting within 58-53 with 5 minutes to go, but again cuse hit the big shots when they needed them, outscoring the Hokies 11-5 the rest of the way, including a “classy” move by Kris Joseph to attack the rim with 20 seconds left when he could have run out the clock.

The Hokies should be proud of the way they played.  They played this game at their pace.  syracuse came into this contest averaging 90 points per game, but VT held them to just 27 points at the break.  But as I always say, there is no such thing as “good losses” in terms of the NCAA Tournament.  Yes, this will help VT’s strength of schedule, but you have to WIN games, not just horseshoe/hand grenade them.

Tech had a 29-27 lead at the half.  The stars of the first half for the Hokies were Jarell Eddie and Erick Green.  Eddie had 9 at the break and Green had 8, showing no ill effects from his Achilles injury.  The Hokies struggled with Jim Boeheim’s famous 2-3 zone, committing 9 first half turnovers, but shot the lights out at times.  Tech was 4/10 from deep in the first half to keep them in the game as they largely just passed the ball around the perimeter.

Meanwhile, Tech’s half court defense was fantastic.  cuse started the opening half 4/15.  The only way the orange could score was in transition, and Kris Joseph, a likely 1st Team All-Big East guy this year, had 12 of cuse’s 27 first half points.

In the second half, it was the Fair, Waiters, and Triche show.  At one point, they had scored 25 of the orange’s 31 second half points.  Dion Waiters had all 11 of his points in the second half, while Joseph led all scorers with 20 (and 10 rebounds), Triche had 18, and Fair had 12 total.  syracuse got hot in the second half, and the Hokies simply couldn’t keep pace.  The orange hit 5/7 3-pointers in the second half, including 3 during that 11-0 run that gave them command of the game.  They never figured out the zone and stopped hitting as many shots, although they did go 4/9 from 3-point range in the second half to finish 8/19 for the game.  The difference was the lack of stops on defense.

For VT, Jarell Eddie had 17 points and 5 assists, Erick Green had 14 points, and Hudson added 13.  The rest of the team scored just 14 points as Davila (6 points) and Dorian Finney-Smith (2 points) battled foul trouble.

The loss snapped a 5-game winning streak for the Hokies at Madison Square Garden.  Virginia Tech will return to action on Friday at 2:30 PM to play oklahoma state (yep, they’ll play okie state twice this regular season but play half the ACC teams just once).  Tech needs to go home with a win from MSG and NYC.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1215 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

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  • FruitpietheMagician

    We played our game in the first half, and I was happy with that effort. You just knew that the Orange were going to pull ahead with all of that talent sometime in the second half. We couldn’t inbound the ball, and whenever we went into that triangle zone, we were always in the wrong place to rebound or defend. They adjusted, and we didn’t even thought we knew that they were going to full-court press us. While we were passing on the permimeter, our guys on the inside looked as if they were wearing concrete shoes – no movement. This could have been a signature win to get us in the Tourney. I hope we seize the moment the next time its presented to us. Nice effort, but we gotta close!

  • http://www.hokienation.us Hokie Nation

    Great job with the commentary!

  • Bryan

    Thought Robert Brown looked like a freshman tonight with some key defensive lapses when he was on the court. Overall, I was happy with the effort and the shooting of Hudson, Green, and Eddie. We look to be a tough team again this year. I’m excited to see these guys develop.

  • Chuck

    Being patient offensively during critical momentum possessions remains an achilles heel. Too many times we’d come down and try to answer 1 on 3 and wind up giving them numbers the other way. To me, this is self inflicted. I’d like to think that had we shortened the game by lengthening possessions, we could have lulled them back to sleep some, continued to frustrate them.

    Seth had a good game plan, but any game plan is difficult to execute perfectly for 40 minutes. I’m pretty pleased with everything but the outcome….

    I’m extremely pleased with the shooting effort…we look as though we might be able to avoid the 2 for 19s from 3 the Delaney teams succumbed to on so many nights.

    I was disappointed that we didn’t challenge them on the baseline behind the zone more…i thought we did a good enough job getting some penetration to create the open jumpers, but we didn’t utilize a slasher on the baseline as much as i’d have liked. Davila had the nice dunk early, but we had little else. If you can get those easy baskets behind the zone, it helps collapse the top of the 2-3 back just a few feet, which means you’re shooting higher percentage jumpers, and you can skip the passes over the top easier from side to side.

  • LuvzAznChix

    Dammit, I’m tired of blowing it to these teams! We could and SHOULD have won it.

  • Les

    Fatigue started setting in. Allowing dribble penetration and slower switching over to jump shooters. Their backups weren’t as good defending.

    They weren’t really penetrating the defense so Syracuse extended their zone in the second half.

  • http://www.heyhokie.com goodraisin

    Two additional thoughts… first, the referees were ticking me off. Several calls/non-calls felt like they were favoring Syracuse either because they were the “home” team or else because they’re ranked #5. I can’t stand that… call it even. Secondly, I have to admit that VT was lucky to get even 58 points in this game. They looked absolutely pitiful trying to break into that Syracuse zone. You can’t just pass around the outside all day and just hope that the guy working the high post just happens to run into and open spot. You’ve got to dribble in there and poke around. You’ve got to pass inside out. I know Syracuse runs that zone really well, but VT’s effort was pitiful. They bailed themselves out with amazing shooting efforts from Green and Eddie, and you knew that wasn’t going to keep up for an entire game. Hopefully VT can make a little noise in ACC play after the team gets some more experience.

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