Jose Alvarado scored 19 points, James Banks III added 16 and Georgia Tech dominated inside and overpowered Syracuse 73-59 on Saturday night, ending the Orange's four-game winning streak.
The Yellow Jackets (10-6, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) outscored the Orange (11-5, 2-1) 36-16 in the paint and was reminiscent of Georgia Tech's 55-51 victory last season when the Yellow Jackets also dominated inside, outscoring the Orange 30-10 in the paint.
Georgia Tech, who holds opponents to 63.1 points per game, stifled Syracuse all game, limiting the Orange to 18-of-57 shooting from the field and just 7 of 33 from beyond the arc. Syracuse's top three scorers, Tyus Battle, Elijah Hughes and Oshae Brissett were a combined 11 of 34. Brissett's 15 points, all in the second half, led Syracuse. Hughes added 12 points and Battle chipped in with 11.
Curtis Haywood II had 15 for the Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech had a 27-26 halftime lead but outscored Syracuse 46-33 in the second. The Yellow Jackets started the second half on a 17-5 spurt to build to a 44-31 margin, sparked by two 3s by Alvarado. Two 3s by Buddy Boeheim brought the Orange to within 10 at 51-41 with 10:14 to go, but Syracuse would get no closer. The Yellow Jackets eventually extended their lead to 51-33, their largest of the game, on a layup by Alvarado with 12:13 to go. Alvarado had 13 points in the second half.
Both teams struggled in the first half. Syracuse started the game 2-of-12 shooting and finished the half shooting 8 of 25 and just 5 of 19 from 3. Georgia Tech committed 10 turnovers but took their slim halftime lead on the strength of an overpowering inside game.
The Yellow Jackets scored 18 of its points from inside the paint. Their lone outside field goal was a 3 by Alvarado. Banks and Abdoulaye Gueye, who left the game with a leg injury with 13:34 to go in the game, both exceeded their season average in the first 20 minutes. Each scored 10 points. Banks, who averages 9.3 points a game, had four dunks and two free throws while Gueye, who has a 5.2 average, had three hooks and two layups.
Brissett, who averages 13.9 points a game, failed to score on 0-of-3 shooting.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets defense will keep them in games all year. Prior to Saturday's win, Georgia Tech held high-powered Virginia Tech to just 52 points and their defense is among the leaders nationally. The offense struggles but their defense will give teams fits.
Syracuse: Things don't get easier with a road game Monday against Duke. The Orange, who had little margin for error entering Saturday's game, has none now, and the team is severely challenged on offense.
Georgia Tech travels to Clemson on Wednesday.
The Orange heads down south for a matchup Monday against No.1 Duke.