Syracuse Upends #9 Virginia 66-62
By KJ Vaughn
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse entered Saturday with a three game winning streak and was looking to keep it going against the 9th ranked Virginia Cavaliers. The Carrier Dome was packed as the crowd watched legendary head man, Jim Boeheim, go for his unofficial 1,000 victory.
Andrew White III would get the scoring going just two minutes in with a jumper. Virginia would have chances down low, but missed a couple of layups, and with almost five minutes gone in the first half Virginia would hold an 8-2 lead.
A three from Tyus Battle would ignite a 7-0 run from ‘Cuse to tie the game up at nine apiece. After John Gillon forced a steal, Andrew White tied the game up with a jumper. UVA’s Kyle Guy would answer with a three from the corner to put the Cavaliers back on top 19-16.
Battle was the early hot hand as he led SU with 10 points in the first 15 minutes of action. Virginia’s hot hand was Mamadi Diakite with six points. The Cavaliers would take a 26-20 lead off of Devon Hall’s three. Tyler Lydon would respond with his first points of the game, on a dunk at the other end to make it 26-22. Diakite would get a beautiful ally-oop from London Perrantes to put Virginia on top 31-22 with just two minutes left in the first half.
The Cavaliers would close the half on an 8-0 run to pull ahead 34-22. Kyle Guy did the most damage against ‘Cuse in the first half, leading all Cavaliers with nine points on 3-of-3 shooting from behind the arc. Tyus Battle led all Syracuse players with 10 points in the first half.
Tyus Battle would get the second half started with three to make it 34-25 UVA. Syracuse kept the momentum going, scoring another five points in a row, culminated in a Taurean Thompson dunk to make it 34-30.
After three straight 3’s from the Orange, they would pull ahead 39-36 for its first lead of the game. Following a Guy three, Andrew White would answer with a three of his own to make it 45-39.
The second half would continue to be a back and fourth battle as the teams exchanged bucket for bucket and three for three. Syracuse would find itself up 51-48 with just under six minutes left in the game. London Perrantes would hit a layup high off the glass to make it a four point game, 57-53, with just under three minutes left to play.
Andrew White would hit two free throws to make it 60-56 SU with under two minutes to play. After another Perrantes three made it a one point game, John Gillon hit a Jumper to make it 62-59 in favor of SU. Syracuse would earn its second signature victory of the year with a 66-62 nail bitter over Virginia and Coach Boeheim would get his unofficial 1,000th career victory.
After the game Coach Boeheim reflected on his accomplishment “I’m happy we got to 15 [wins], I know how many wins I’ve had, [I’m] very proud of that, very proud of that.”
Syracuse will hit the road for a two game stretch starting Tuesday February 7th at Clemson. Tipoff is set for 8 P.M.