No.2 Virginia Cavaliers (27-2, 15-2 ACC) broke the resistance of Syracuse Orange (19-11, 10-7 ACC) with an unbelievable three-point surge, lifting the guests to 79-53 win in Carrier Dome.
The guests made 18 downtown shots, all of them combined by three guys, Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome, and De’Andre Hunter. Cavaliers’ performance will be remembered for a long time, as they annihilated Orange’s defense in the second half, outscoring the hosts 47-19.
Syracuse Orange men’s basketball head coach Jim Boeheim speaking on Virginia Cavaliers’ 18-for-25 performance from 3 vs his defense. Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy, & De’Andre Hunter combined to go 18-for-23
— DT Sports Media (@CallDT) March 5, 2019
The spectators could see two totally opposite halftimes. The first one was close with Syracuse playing a zone defense which pretty much slowed down Virginia, forcing them to make 8 turnovers and to be inconsistent on offense. Still, what kept the guests in the game were threes, as they made 8 of 12 attempts, not allowing Orange to make some big lead.
Hots were up 31-25 with a little bit under 4 minutes until the end of the first period, and headed on a break with a two-point lead, 34-32.
But what happened in the second half could only be described as a tsunami. With 15 minutes until the end, the guests made an 11-0 run, which was interrupted with Buddy Boeheim’s three. After that basket, Virginia scored 16 straight points, silencing the crowd at the Carrier Dome.
During the last minutes of the contest, both coaches gave the opportunity to the players on the bench.
Guy scored 25 points shooting 8 of 10 from behind the arc, adding seven boards. Ty Gerome had a huge double-double with 16 points and 14 dimes, missing just one of his six three-point tries. He also had 4 steals.
Hunter had 21 points, hitting 5 threes.
For the hosts, three players had 11 points each: Elijah Hughes, Tyus Battle and Marek Dolezaj who came off the bench.
Virginia had 21 assists compared to only 8 the home team posted.
The Cavaliers have half a game advantage over the Tar Heels in the ACC standings. Duke who inflicted the only two losses to Virginia is third 1.5 games behind the Cavs.
Syracuse is sixth, but according to most of the experts they should be invited to the tournament. The reason for that, are their three wins over the ranked teams.
They will finish the regular part of the season this Saturday at Clemson. The Cavaliers are hosting Louisville in their regular-season finale.