No. 9/10 Syracuse used a 22-4 second-half scoring run to overcome a five-point deficit on its way to an 80-76 victory against Georgia Tech in the championship game of the Legends Classic tonight in Atlantic City, N.J. The Orange improves to 6-0 this season, while the Yellow Jackets fall to 4-2.
Senior Rick Jackson was named the tournament MVP after recording double-doubles in the semifinals and finals. Jackson scored 10 points and grabbed 14 rebounds against Georgia Tech after recording 10 points and 12 rebounds against Michigan in the semifinals. He now has five double-doubles this season and 12 in his career. Jackson was joined on the All-Tournament team by junior Kris Joseph, who finished the night with 19 points.
Five Orange players scored in double figures, including junior Scoop Jardine, who recorded 15 points to go along with eight assists and two steals. Freshman Dion Waiters came off the bench to contribute a career-high 13 points, while fellow freshman C.J. Fair added 10 points. Georgia Tech’s Brian Oliver led all scorers with a career-best 32 points.
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n the opening minutes of the contest, accounting for the Yellow Jackets’ firstProxy-Connection: keep-alive
0 points, helping them to a 23-14 advantage. Six consecutive points by Waiters cut the lead to three, but Georgia Tech responded with four straight points to take a 27-20 lead. With the Yellow Jackets up 36-31, the Orange closed out the first half on a 7-0 scoring run to take a two-point lead into the locker room at halftime. Jardine started the run with a basket before Fair’s dunk cut the lead to one. Fair then hit his first career three-pointer in the final seconds of the half to give the Orange its first lead of the game.
Georgia Tech quickly erased SU’s lead, outscoring the Orange, 9-2, to take a 47-40 lead to start the second half. Trailing 49-44, freshman Baye Moussa Keita recorded his second basket of the night, starting a 22-4 scoring run which gave Syracuse its largest lead of the game at 66-53. Joseph had 12 points during the run, while Jardine and Fair each had three. Georgia Tech battled back to cut the lead to five at 72-67, but Jackson’s dunk on an alley-oop pass from Jardine pushed SU’s advantage back to seven. The Orange increased its lead to 10 before Georgia Tech scored five straight points to get within five in the final minute. But Jardine went 1-for-2 from the free throw line to seal the win as the Orange recorded the four-point victory.
Syracuse shot a season-best 55.6 percent (25-for-45) from the field and recorded season highs in free throws attempted (38) and made (26). Georgia Tech was 6-for-11 from three-point range in the first half, but connected on just two of 13 attempts in the second half.
The Orange returns to the Carrier Dome on Tuesday, Nov. 30, when it hosts Central New York foe Cornell at 7 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets for the game online at SUathletics.com or by phone at 1-888-DOMETIX.
Atlantic City, N.J. — The Heisman Trophy voters never reward linebackers for sacks or offensive lineman for leveling blocks, but Syracuse’s Rick Jackson won one for the unsung hero.
The senior forward received the Legends Classic MVP award Saturday despite not leading the Orange in scoring in either of its games this weekend.
Jackson, Syracuse’s 6-foot-9, 240-pound senior forward, recorded 10 points and 14 rebounds in the Orange’s win over Georgia Tech in the championship game. He played all 40 minutes, establishing a post presence on both ends of the court.
“I’m just trying to rebound the ball,” Jackson said. “I figure that’s what I have to do. Get the rebounds and play solid defense. We’re going to get offense.”
In Friday’s semifinal win over Michigan, Jackson put up 10 points and 12 boards. In six games this season, Jackson has five double-doubles. He’s averaging 12 points and 13 rebounds for the year.
“Ricky had a big tournament, rebounding it for us,” Boeheim said.
Joining Jackson on the all-tournament team were Joseph, Oliver, Darius Morris of Michigan and Randy Culpepper of UTEP.
Syracuse held a 79-69 lead with 47 seconds left in Saturday’s game but had to hold on at the very end as Georgia Tech closed to within four points.
The Yellow Jackets even got a late steal that led to a missed 3-pointer.
In the final 47 seconds, Syracuse turned the ball over three times and then missed one of two free throws.
“We got the lead and made two bad turnovers at the end of the game,” Boeheim said. “You can’t do that. If it’s a four-point game, you lose the game. Those things shouldn’t happen. We’re better than that.”