Backcourt decisive as SU finish 2017 with first ACC win of season

SU starters score 64 of 68 points in ACC opener.

Syracuse basketball begin ACC play with a convincing 68-56 win over Virginia Tech.

The Orange (12-2, 1-0 ACC) welcomed the visiting Hokies (11-3, 0-1 ACC) to the Carrier Dome looking to win its first ACC opener since 2014-2015, when they beat Virgina Tech 68-66 in Blacksburg, Va.

The game began with back and forth scoring between both teams. Syracuse has done well when jumping ahead to an early lead, however struggled to do so in this game. Freshman forward Oshae Brissett opened the game with a layup following a block from center Paschal Chukwu. Chukwu, the redshirt junior, was the only big man on the court following another missed game from Bourama Sidibe.

Freshman forward Matthew Moyer was a big threat on both the offensive and defensive boards. Following a three-point miss from Tyus Battle, Moyer grabbed the offensive board and grabbed a pair of easy points. Moyer finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds, four of them coming on the offensive glass.

Battle and Howard were assets again for the Orange offense. Both of them played all forty minutes, grabbing 17 points a piece. Howard shot three of four from three and Battle shot 50 percent from within the three point line.

Right at the end of the first half, Syracuse jumped out to its largest lead of the half when Battle hit a three pointer. Going into halftime with a 13 point lead, Syracuse would be really proud of holding Virginia Tech to 19 first half points.

The second half was more even, however Syracuse did not sucumb the lead and kept momentum. Despite the visiting Hokies bringing the score to within three, the Orange then scored nine unanswered points to make the score 45-31.

Syracuse's defense forced seven blocks, three from Chukwu and two from freshman forward Marek Dolezaj. While Virginia Tech had more steals and points off turnovers, SU were able to keep the lead for longer.

Syracuse play its next game on Jan. 3 at Wake Forest, who lost 73-69 to North Carolina.


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