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Tech Defense Stymies Syracuse Down The Stretch in 65-60 Win

THE FLATS – A stifling Georgia Tech defense held Syracuse without a field goal for the final 5:50 of the game and the Yellow Jackets downed the Orange, 65-60, on Saturday evening at McCamish Pavilion.

After digging out of an early 9-2 hole and leading by as many as 10 points in the second half, Georgia Tech (11-15, 4-11 ACC) found itself down 55-54 after Syracuse’s Chris Bell hit a 3-pointer with just under six minutes to go in the game. The deficit was the Yellow Jackets’ first since they trailed 21-19 with seven minutes to go in the first half.

However, Tech’s defense stymied Syracuse over the final 5:50, forcing the Orange to go 0-for-6 from the field and outscoring SU by an 11-5 margin down the stretch.

Baye Ndongo gave the Jackets the lead for good on a put-back that put Tech up 59-57 with 3:16 to go, and Tech stretched the advantage to four points at 62-58 on an old-fashioned three-point play by Miles Kelly with 32 seconds left on the clock.

Syracuse made two free throws on its ensuing possession to pull back within two points at 62-60 and, on the other end, Tech’s Kyle Sturdivant made the first of two foul shots to extend the lead to 63-60.

Sturdivant missed the second shot, but Kelly made perhaps the biggest play of the game when he corralled the miss to keep possession with the Jackets. He was fouled and made both free throws to cap a three-point trip down the floor for Tech, sealing the win for the Jackets by putting them up by five with 18 seconds to play.

Kelly’s huge offensive rebound went right along with one of the biggest themes of the game, which was Georgia Tech dominating Syracuse on the boards. The Yellow Jackets outrebounded the Orange, 49-28, including a whopping 12-4 edge on the offensive glass.

Leading the way for Tech were Ndongo and Kelly, who both posted double-doubles with 16 points and 11 rebounds for Ndongo and 16 points and 10 boards for Kelly. Sturdivant paced Tech with 17 points, and Tafara Gapare rounded out four Jackets in double-figures with 10.

J.J. Starling led Syracuse (16-10, 7-8 ACC) with 18 points.

Georgia Tech remains at home this week, hosting Clemson on Wednesday at McCamish Pavilion. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally on ACC Network.

Freshman Baye Ndongo posted his fifth double-double this season with 16 points and 11 rebounds. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

Post-Game Notes

 

Tafara Gapare came up one rebound shy of a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

Game Highlights

Post-Game Press Conference

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