Syracuse beats Virginia Tech to notch third straight win

Judah Mintz tallied 29 points, six assists and three steals as Syracuse held on for an 84-71 home victory over Virginia Tech on Tuesday.Mintz shot 10-of-17 from the field and made all eight of his

Syracuse beats Virginia Tech to notch third straight win

Judah Mintz tallied 29 points, six assists and three steals as Syracuse held on for an 84-71 home victory over Virginia Tech on Tuesday.

Mintz shot 10-of-17 from the field and made all eight of his free throws for the Orange (19-10, 10-8 ACC), who have won three straight games for the first time this calendar year. JJ Starling chipped in 13 points, six rebounds and five assists for Syracuse, while Quadir Copeland and Maliq Brown notched 12 points apiece.

In addition to their defensive struggles, the Hokies (15-13, 7-10) were doomed by their 3-point shooting (6-of-20) and their inability to get to the free-throw line (3-of-3). Sean Pedulla paced the Virginia Tech offense with 18 points, while Lynn Kidd (16 points on 8-of-9 shooting), Hunter Cattoor (12 points) and Mylyjael Poteat (11) also scored in double figures.

Neither team led by more than five until Kyle Cuffe Jr.’s 3-pointer ignited a 24-9 Orange run to end the first half. Copeland scored eight points during that burst, while Mintz chipped in seven, including a three-point play.

Mintz’s bucket on the final Syracuse possession of the half gave the hosts a 45-27 lead at intermission. The Orange shot 61.3 percent from the field in the first session, led by Mintz’s 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting.

Syracuse took its largest lead at 48-27 as Starling opened the second-half scoring with a 3-pointer. But Virginia Tech began to chip away, closing within 15 with 15:40 remaining and then getting within 11 on Cattoor’s 3-pointer with 11 1/2 minutes to play.

With less than nine minutes to go, Cattoor’s jumper brought the deficit to single digits for the first time since about five minutes remained in the first half. The Hokies got as close as seven, but Mintz made three buckets over a two-minute stretch to keep the visitors at bay.

The Hokies went nearly three minutes without a bucket down the stretch as their upset hopes withered away.