Virginia Tech road struggles continue with loss at Syracuse

The Hokies fell down by double digits early and were not able to recover.
Virginia Tech v Syracuse
Virginia Tech v Syracuse / Rich Barnes/GettyImages

445. Final. 71. 447. ACC. 84

Things have been such a struggle on the road for the Virginia Tech men's basketball team this season that when they fell behind by 18 points Tuesday night at the JMA Dome against Syracuse, it was an all-too-familiar position.

Despite going down by 21 points in the second half, the Hokies cut the deficit to seven points but were not able to get closer as Syracuse got some timely baskets to keep Virginia Tech at bay to secure their 10th ACC win of the season. Here are some observations as the Hokies fell to 15-13 overall and 7-10 in conference play.

  • Coming into the game, if Virginia Tech was going to have any success, they needed to stop the Orange in transition. Easier said than done. Syracuse pushed the ball on Hokies' misses and turnovers and it led to 45 first-half points, led by 16 from star guard Judah Mintz.
  • Give credit to the Hokies who did a better job containing the Orange from getting out and running in the second half, mainly because they started making shots slowing them down. However, whenever they needed a stop late in the game, the Orange were able to get a basket and put the ball in Mintz's hands and he finished with 29 points.
  • Virginia Tech reversed their road struggles in Western New York, struggling to score in the opening 20 minutes, but finally started making shots in the final 20 minutes. Now all they have to do is find a way to put that together next week in their final road game at Louisville.
  • Sean Pedulla led the Hokies with 18 points and Lynn Kidd added 16 points and eight rebounds. He did a nice job with his footwork around the basket and finishing. Hunter Cattoor had 12 points and Mylyjaet Poteat had 11 points and six rebounds off the bench.
  • During the broadcast, Joe Lunardi popped on and said that the loser of this game was basically eliminated from the NCAA Tournament contention, but with Tech's 1-9 road record, regardless of what their NET ranking was, it felt they were already out even with a win.

The good news for the Hokies is that they will play two of their final three games of the regular season at home beginning Saturday night when they welcome Wake Forest to Blacksburg. The Demon Deacons had a win over Virginia Tech back in December and are trending in the right direction for the NCAA Tournament.