SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- On Senior Day in the Carrier Dome, it was a pair of grad students and a freshman who shined brighter than the rest. Andrew White III scored a career-high 40 points, on 8-9 shooting from behind-the arc. John Gillon tallied a double-double with ten points and ten assists. Freshman guard Tyus Battle was good for 22 points on 6-11 shooting.
“You’ve got to give Syracuse a lot of credit – obviously they were fantastic,” Georgia Tech Head Coach Josh Pastner said. “Andrew White III was just amazing. They were dialed in.”
All three helped Syracuse improve to 10-8 in the ACC, with a 90-61 pounding of the Yellow Jackets. The win should go a long way toward helping the Orange make the big dance.
“It was a good way to go out,” Andrew White III said. “More importantly, though, we got a win.”
Syracuse started the game on a 7-0 run. A jumper from freshman Taurean Thompson was followed by a three-ball from Battle, then a jumper from Andrew White.
The Orange would keep Georgia Tech’s star Ben Lammers quiet in the early going. The center didn’t get a basket to fall until 8:17 remained in the first half, totaling only ten points in the contest. He put up 23 on the Orange a few weeks ago in Atlanta.
“Ben (Lammers) is a really good player,” Jim Boeheim said. “He made some really good blocks today. He’s easily, to me, the most improved player in our league.”
Thompson, Battle and White were the only scorers for SU up until a Tyler Lydon layup at 6:32, which made it a 28-13 ball game. Josh Okogie did most of the scoring for the Yellow Jackets in the early going, responsible for the team’s first eight points halfway through the period.
Syracuse kept the lead hovering around 15 throughout the rest of the half. Senior Tyler Roberson got the crowd on their feet at the 5:55 mark with the slam. Andrew White had eleven points by halftime. The Orange took a 38-26 lead into the break.
The Yellow Jackets’ offense was buzzing at the end of the first, and on into the second half. Over a period of 3:13, Georgia Tech went on a 13-0 run, 9 of which coming from Tadric Jackson and Quinton Stephens. Fans voiced their displeasure after a Josh Okogie layup cut the Cuse lead to three at 38-35.
That was as close as Tech would get. Andrew White started a three-for-all for the Orange on the Gillon assist. His back-to-back threes pushed the Orange lead back up to seven at 44-37.
At 12:34, Tyler Lydon sank one from deep. After Josh Heath retorted with a triple for the Jackets, Andrew White and the Orange went on an 11-0 run, including three makes from behind-the-arc from White.
After a pair of free throws from Josh Okogie, White led the Orange on another 10-0 run, scoring eight points in that stretch.
Gillon and Battle added additional threes, as Syracuse went an incredible 15-23 from deep. Syracuse was up 26 with 7:02 to go.
“I think we’re a pretty good team and when we’re shooting the ball, we’re a real good basketball team,” Boeheim said.
The game stayed out of reach for Georgia Tech. As a result, Boeheim was able to answer fan chants for Dajuan Coleman, checking him into the game with 3:02 to play. The crowd was electric.
“DaJuan checked into the game and it made my night,” White said.
Syracuse’s 29-point victory gives them a key win on their resume for the NCAA tournament. The Orange, at 18-13, 10-8, could do itself a favor with another win on Wednesday versus Miami in the ACC tournament.