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The Hokies lost to Syracuse on Tuesday night 72-52 inside Cassell Coliseum (Tech is now 8-6 overall and 1-1 in the ACC). Tech was able to hang in for most of the game but eventually Syracuse talent and depth made a difference. A long scoring drought by the Hokies is what caused this game to slip out of reach. This will be another good game to learn a lot from for our young guys, because you have to, especially against a good team, play a full 40 minutes.
The first half could have been ugly, if it had not been for the Orange going on a drought. They started the half on a 22-7 run that gave them a 27-15 lead. The Hokies were able to make a run of their own to get back within striking distance before halftime. Adam Smith came in and hit three key threes that helped Tech cut the lead to six before going into the locker room. It also helped that Syracuse went without a field goal for the last five minutes of the half.
In the second half the Orange got their lead up to nine, but Jarell Eddie then hit a three to bring it back down to six. The Hokies were able to get within four after Ben Emelogu hit a shot. After that is when it got ugly. Syracuse went on a 16-0 run that put the game well out of reach. Tech went well over eight minutes without a basket, which helped attribute to the Orange run. If the Hokies could have managed to find some offense during that stretch it may have been a closer ball game.
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This was another game where Tech’s lack of experience, talent, and depth was exposed. An experienced team would find a way to prevent from going eight minutes without a bucket. Tech was somewhat shorthanded again, because CJ Barksdale and Marshall Wood’s minutes were limited, to an extent, because of battling the flu bug. Also, Adam Smith was limited from his lingering calf injury. None of those things help your case in any game, but even more so when you are playing the number two team in the country. This has kind of been the trend with Hokies basketball. They always, here recently, have been held back by a lot of injuries (and transfers). I just hope eventually our luck will change. I still honestly like the young talent we have on this team and there is reason for hope in the future. I know this may sound like the same record being played over and over again, but we just have to be patient and give this program time to rebuild. We are not going to turn our basketball program around over night, because Tech has never been known for having a dominant basketball team. This is a process that is going to take some time, but I feel like we do have some decent pieces that, in a few years, could turn into something solid. Our basketball program is going to have to rely on getting players with upside who are going to stick around in college and then develop them over a few years and then make a run. Tech is not going to get those one and done players, like Kentucky does, every season. So, realizing this we have to be patient and just give it some time.
Next up on Tech’s schedule is Boston College. The Eagles are 4-11 (0-2 in the ACC), so hopefully the Hokies can get another conference win here. It will be another game played at home inside Cassell on Saturday afternoon. Another quick note, Jarell Eddie scored his 1000th career point in the Syracuse game, so congrats to him on that accomplishment.
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