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Deeper Dive: Senior Night Domination

Breaking down Syracuse's 90-61 win over Georgia Tech.

Top Performer: It was arguably the best senior night performance in Syracuse basketball history. Senior Andrew White tied a Carrier Dome record with 40 points. It took just 16 shots to get to his career high scoring total. White was simply on fire. He scored 29 points in the second half and made eight of his nine three-pointers overall. Not only was White hot from the outside, but he also put the ball on the floor and attacked the basket with success. White also contributed in other ways, with three rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Bottom Feeder: In only five minutes of action, Frank Howard was 0-2 shooting, did not score and turned it over twice. It was more mistake plagued basketball from the sophomore guard. 

Stat of the Game: Three-point shooting. Syracuse was 15-24 (62.5%) from distance overall, including 10-14 (71.4%) in the second half. Georgia Tech, on the other hand, was just 5-20 (25%) from beyond the arc. Syracuse was paced by Andrew White's 8-9 performance. Tyus Battle finished 4-7 from three-point range.  

Turning Point: Georgia Tech opened the second half on a 9-2 run to cut the Orange lead to just three. A game in which Syracuse had completely controlled was now up for grabs. But, Syracuse had a big response minutes later. A 21-2 run midway through the half pushed the lead to 24, and the Orange would never look back. Andrew White was 4-4 from beyond the arc during that stretch, scoring 17 of his 29 second half points. 

He Said It: "It was a good way to go out. More importantly, though, we got a win. DaJuan checked into the game and it made my night. Tyler (Roberson) had a good game. John (Gillon) did too. Doyin (Akintobi-Adeyeye) got a basket and a rebound. I think all the way around it was a great night for our seniors, and more importantly, for our fans, because it’s going to be our last time here this season, and even for my career. I’m happy to go off on that note." -- Syracuse senior Andrew White

Five Takeaways:

  1. What a performance by Andrew White, who dominated the game in the second half. It was one of the best senior night performance in Syracuse history, and one of the best offensive performances in Carrier Dome history. Safe to say White is out of his shooting slump. 
  2. Tyus Battle had another strong performance, going over 20 points once again. If not for White's historic output, Battle's game would be the highlight of a big win over Georgia Tech. Battle started out hot, hitting his first three from the outside. He added a strong dribble-drive and transition game in the second half for an overall strong offensive performance. In addition, Battle was fantastic at the top of the zone, closing out on shooters, deflecting passes and harassing the Yellow Jacket guards. 
  3. Just because Tyler Lydon only scored seven points does not mean he was not really good on Saturday. Lydon grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked three shots. He may have had the biggest bucket in the game, drilling a long three to push the Syracuse lead to eight just before the 21-2 run previously referenced. He also dished out three assists and scored seven points. Lydon is not a "take over the game" by scoring type of aggressive player. He lets the game come to him and impacts the game in a variety of ways. If rebounding is needed, he does that. If strong defense is needed, he obliges. On Saturday, Battle and White had scoring covered, so Lydon controlled the glass and played solid interior defense. Lydon's numbers are up across the board from last season. He had had a very, very good sophomore season. 
  4. Syracuse should be in the tournament. At 18-13 (10-8), they wrapped up an impressive conference campaign and have a resume worthy of selection by the NCAA Tournament committee. They have more top 25, top 50 and top 100 wins than nearly all of the other bubble teams. Yes they were just 2-8 on the road, but also played a lot of road games that were much more difficult than their bubble counterparts. Think about their road games for a minute. North Carolina, Louisville, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, etc. Yes the losses to Boston College and Pitt on the road were not great, but the rest of the slate was quite daunting.  
  5. It is remarkable the job that Jim Boeheim has done this season. From 8-6 to 18-13. After the loss at Boston College, many thought this team would struggle to make the NIT. Now, they are on the verge of the NCAA Tournament. He has tweaked his lineup, shortened his rotation and helped aid the in-season improvement of Tyus Battle, John Gillon and Taurean Thompson. If there was any doubt that Boeheim is still one of the best coaches in the country right now, this season provides that evidence.

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