Syracuse was the better team entering Tuesday night's road contest against Virginia Tech. But the Hokies have a reputation of pulling upsets at home. They had another one on their mind just five minutes into the second half.
Ben Emelogu hit a jumper with 14:52 left in the game to cut the Syracuse lead to 44-40. The Orange then went on a decisive 16-0 run over the next 8:30 to put Virginia Tech away.
The run was highlighted by strong Syracuse defense, as the zone frustrated the Hokies offense. Earlier in the game, Tech was finding success with interior passing and outside shooting. Over this eight minutes and thirty seconds, however, the zone rotations were more precise and the aggressiveness of the Orange went to another level.
During the decisive stretch, the Orange forced two Virginia Tech turnovers and held the Hokies to 0-9 from shooting.
Baye Keita was especially strong on the defensive end during the run. He played great interior defense, blocking a shot and grabbing three defensive rebounds.
Freshman point guard Tyler Ennis was vital to the run as well, hitting a key three pointer to spark the 16-0 stretch. He also had a steal, an assist and a second three pointer over that span.
The run ensured a Syracuse victory, and kept an inferior team from gaining confidence as the game neared its conclusion. The Orange improved to 15-0 with the win.