It was a confusing game for Syracuse fans Saturday, one where you walked out of the Carrier Dome not really knowing what to think, even though the Orange was able to come away with a win. Syracuse squeaked by Georgia Tech 60-57, and despite everything that happened with the officiating it was a team effort that got Syracuse a win on a day it didn’t play its best basketball.
As the score tells you, it was a very defensive game, especially in the second half. After going into halftime tied at 35, Syracuse needed only 25 points in the second to come away with a win.
“Our defense got really good, said Jim Boeheim after the game. “Our defense really was outstanding.”
Coach Boeheim was especially happy with the work of his senior guards at the end of the game. “[Cooney and Gbinije] did such a great job defensively at the end… they couldn’t even get a shot.”
But it wasn’t only Cooney and Gbinje carrying the load for the Orange. Dajuan Coleman had one of the best games of his career offensively, scoring 11 points in 24 minutes before fouling out.
“I thought Dajuan was tremendous tonight,” Boeheim said. “He just can’t get his hands on people and get fouls.”
“I felt real good down there,” Coleman said after the game. “I felt like I could score and take advantage of them.”
Malachi Richardson, who was held scoreless in the first half, came out and scored 13 in the second.
“[Boeheim] just told me to be more aggresive and get to the basket, try and get fouled,” Richardson said.
And that he did. Malachi went to the free throw line eight times in the second half (although he only made four), and went 4-7 from the field.
Not to be outdone, Tyler Roberson led the Orange with eight rebounds and added six points.
As for Syracuse’s tournament resume? Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory said the Orange should be putting on its dancing shoes.
“That’s an NCAA Tournament team, for sure,” Gregory said. “That’s a team that’s going to play in the NCAA Tournament.”
Posted: Nathan Dickinson