Fast Reaction: 3 quick observations from Syracuse’s comeback win over Virginia Tech

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first_img Published on February 3, 2015 at 11:24 pm Syracuse (15-7, 6-3 Atlantic Coast) came back to beat Virginia Tech (9-13, 1-8), 72-70, in the Carrier Dome on Tuesday night, and here are three quick takeaways from the season-saving win.1. Pressed for timeDown as many as 13 points with over six minutes to play, Syracuse jumped into a full-court press that brought it roaring back into the game. SU forward Michael Gbinije was particularly instrumental in the comeback, harassing VT’s guards in the backcourt and kickstarting a sped-up game that played into the Orange’s hand.It was also Gbinije who drove into the middle of the Hokies’ defense and drew a foul with the game winding down and hit two free throws to tie the game.Then, after Trevor Cooney forced Adam Smith to step backcourt, Gbinije won it with a short-corner layup to complete the six-minute comeback effort.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text2. Zoning out Whether it was operating in the high post or shooting the 3, Virginia Tech had no trouble bending — and often snapping — Syracuse’s 2-3 zone.Hokies guard Justin Bibbs was particularly effective in the high post throughout the game, hitting floater after floater and facilitating to his teammates on the wings. And after not shooting many 3s due to an extended zone in the first, Virginia Tech made its first six 3s of the second to build a sizable cushion late in the game.Up until the Orange pressed for most of the last five minutes, its patented zone was scrambling for Hokies and answers before its comeback efforts took flight.3. Missed opportunity Virginia Tech ran with a five-guard lineup for the last 5:18 of the first half and Syracuse was only able to build a meek four-point lead.The Hokies small lineup included no player over 6 feet, 5 inches, with guards Justin Bibbs and Ahmed Hill pretending to be a frontcourt. Six-foot-3 guard Malik Muller was guarding the 6-foot-9 Rakeem Christmas.But aside from an emphatic two-handed dunk, Christmas didn’t take advantage of the forward-less lineup and Virginia Tech continued to find success inside. In a game that stayed close from start to finish, the Orange missed a gift-wrapped opportunity to pull away. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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