In a season chock full of frustrating losses, this was arguably the most frustrating. There was terrible refereeing, stupid turnovers, and missed shots. This game was close the whole time, it was tied at half and neither team was able to pull away. The game was tied with two minutes left, but Georgia Tech would fail to score until there were 10 seconds left. In the final minute, the Orange were leading by two, but Georgia Tech should have had chances to tie the game up. First, Nick Jacobs' layup did not go, then the Jackets turned the ball over and let 15 seconds run off the clock before fouling. Now with only fifteen seconds left, Syracuse hit one of the two free throws and then fouled Marcus Georges-Hunt to prevent the three point attempt. Georges-Hunt made the first but missed the second and in the ensuing mayhem for the rebound, Tadric Jackson was fouled, giving him two free throws to tie the game. He made the first but missed the second forcing Georgia Tech to foul with three seconds left. After the Orange made both free throws, the inbound play fell apart but Adam Smith still got a shot to tie it, but the ball fell just short. The Jackets had chances to win, but could not finish it.
This was a poor shooting game all around. For the Jackets, Nick Jacobs led with 14 points on 6-15 shooting while Adam Smith had 13 points on 5-14 shooting while Ben Lammers chipped in 10 points with a couple big alley-oops. Marcus Georges-Hunt struggled against the zone with only 6 points and he struggled greatly on defense. If some more of Georgia Tech's threes fell, this would have been a very different game. The Jackets did a fantastic job rebounding against the zone, with 14 offensive rebounds. They were doing a lot of good things on offense, they just missed a lot of layups and open shots.
Syracuse was led by Michael Gbinije with 16 points, most in the first half, and Malachi Richardson who was clutch down the stretch and scored 13 points. For much of the game it seemed like Syracuse was getting great looks but they only shot 42% as a team. They wasted many chances on free throws, only shooting 12-21 from the line which gave Georgia Tech an opening. The center Dajuan Coleman had a strong game with 11 points on 4-5 shooting, but fouled out with about five minutes remaining. Taking him out of the game helped the Jacket's offensive rebounding and helped give them several second chances.
This loss continues the inability of Georgia Tech to finish out close games. In every one of their 6 ACC losses, except perhaps against Pittsburgh, the Jackets have had a chance to win it late in the game. Georgia Tech will look to turn it around on Tuesday at 9 pm at home against Duke.