Hughes scores career-high 33 in 97-53 Syracuse win
ATLANTA (AP) -- Elijah Hughes scored 26 of his career-high 33 points in the first half, and Syracuse shut down the ACC's leading scorer on the way to a 97-63 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday.
Buddy Boeheim added a career-high 26 points to help the Orange (5-4, 1-1 ACC) snap a three-game losing streak, and Syracuse held Tech sophomore guard Michael Devoe to seven points on 2-of-12 shooting. He entered the game leading the conference with a 23.8-point scoring average.
Syracuse got off to a fast start when, after Tech's Moses Wright scored the game's first points on a stick-back, the Orange went on a 23-5 run that included made 3-point shots on four consecutive possessions, three by Hughes. The Orange added a pair of dunks in that run and led 48-28 at halftime.
Devoe missed his first six shots before finally connecting for his first field goal with 16:49 left in the game. That pulled Georgia Tech (4-3, 1-1) to within 56-32.
The Jackets never threatened Syracuse, and only Wright produced consistently for Georgia Tech as he scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
The Orange did not score over the final 2:54 of the first half, but completely dominated before that.
They built their biggest lead at 48-26 on a pair of free throws by Hughes with 56 seconds remaining before intermission.
In the first half alone, Hughes made 7 of 11 shots, including 5 of 9 3-pointers, and all seven of his free throws.
The Orange made 13 of 16 free throws in the first half, while Tech was good on just one of five. Syracuse also out-rebounded the Yellow Jackets 24-16.
By game's end, Syracuse made 25-of-30 free throws to Tech's 7-of-18, and the Orange had 10 more rebounds than the Jackets, and made 14-of-33 3-point shots.
Syracuse: If this version of the Orange shows up over the rest of the ACC season, Syracuse may be able to compete for a title. Syracuse was especially efficient on offense, and looked nothing like the team that lost consecutive games by double digits to Oklahoma State, Penn State and Iowa before playing Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech: It's a good thing the Yellow Jackets don't play another conference game until Dec. 31 because that is when junior point guard Jose Alvarado is expected to return from a high right ankle sprain. He missed his fourth consecutive game. Without Alvarado, Tech struggles to move the ball effectively, and his energy is sorely missed at both ends of the court. . . Tech typically has not played games while final exams are going on, but with the ACC's expansion to a 20-game league schedule, the conference put this game on. Finals began Thursday and continue through mid-week.
Syracuse: Will play at Georgetown next Saturday.
Georgia Tech: Will play at Kentucky next Saturday.