March 04, 2017
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) Andrew White scored a career-high 40 points on Saturday to lead Syracuseto a 90-61 victory over Georgia Tech.
After shooting 4 of 14 overall and 2 of 10 from beyond the arc as the Orange split the previous two games, against Duke and Louisville, White torched the Yellow Jackets with a career-high eight 3s, missing only once from beyond the arc in the most important game of his career.
Syracuse (18-13, 10-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) had lost four of five since reeling off five straight victories to resurrect its season, one of those setbacks 71-65 two weeks ago at Georgia Tech.
White hit four 3s in a span of less than four minutes in the second half to give Syracuse a double-digit lead almost all by himself after the Yellow Jackets had pulled to within three. His seventh 3 boosted the lead to 63-46 with 8:40 left, and when he attempted another 27 seconds later he was fouled and calmly hit all three free throws for a 19-point edge.
The regular-season finale was a huge game for both teams, and the Orange avenged that loss to the Yellow Jackets two weeks ago to pad its resume for the postseason.
Georgia Tech (17-14, 8-10) had split its last six games and was coming off a 61-52 win over Pittsburgh. The Yellow Jackets also defeated North Carolina, Notre Dame and Florida State for a resume very similar to Syracuse, which has four wins over ranked teams.
With the loss, Tech has the No. 11 seed in next week’s ACC Tournament and will face 14th-seeded Pittsburgh (15-16, 4-14) in the opening round of the tournament at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Orange finished 15 of 23 (65.2 percent) from beyond the arc against the fifth-most efficient defense in the country and tops in the ACC in field-goal percentage defense (40 percent).
Freshman Tyus Battle had 22 points for the Orange, one off his season high, and John Gillon finished with 10.
In the first five minutes of the game, Syracuse was 6 of 7, including four straight 3-pointers, to gain a 16-4 lead. Battle had three 3s and Taurean Thompson added just his third of the season to cap the opening spurt.
”They were just tremendous,” Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner said. ”Tyus Battle, his start … gave them momentum and kind of got them going. That set the tone.”
The Yellow Jackets pulled to within 18-11 on a 3 from the left corner by Jackson but never managed to get closer the rest of the half.
Syracuse took a 38-26 lead into the halftime break, but Georgia Tech responded with a nine-point spurt to start the second period. Stephens hit a 3 from the wing and a reverse layup by Okogie narrowed the gap to 38-35 with 17:38 left.
That’s when White began to assume control, hitting a 3 from the left corner 25 seconds later.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets could have bolstered their postseason chances and dealt the Orange a severe blow with a win. A good showing in the ACC Tournament next week is a must. … Could have finished at .500 in the conference for the first time in a decade. … Tech upset No. 7 Syracuse 67-62 in the Carrier Dome three years ago to the day.
Georgia Tech: Plays at the ACC Tournament in Brooklyn. The Yellow Jackets are the 11th seed with a Tuesday game against Pittsburgh.