BLACKSBURG, Va. (HokieSports.com) – Led by the incredible play of Justin Robinson and outstanding play on defense, No. 10 Virginia Tech registered a 78-56 ACC victory over Syracuse on Saturday night at Carilion Clinic Court.
With the win, the Hokies – who had lost nine of their previous 10 matchups with the Orange – moved to 16-3 overall, 5-2 in the ACC. Syracuse fell to 14-6 overall, 5-2 in league play.
Robinson, a senior from Manassas, Virginia, enjoyed the best game of his career, scoring a career-high 35 points and setting a Virginia Tech single-game record with nine 3-pointers. He went 9 of 13 from the floor – all 3-pointers – and 8 of 10 from the free-throw line.
Robinson also dished out eight assists, and in doing so, he became the school’s all-time leader in career assists. Robinson broke the former record of 547 assists set by Bimbo Coles during a career that spanned from 1986-90.
Tech jumped out to the lead right from the opening tip and never trailed, playing a near-perfect first half in which the Hokies shot 53.8 percent from the floor and held Syracuse to just 33.3 percent. They carved up Syracuse’s 2-3 zone defense, as 10 of their 14 baskets were 3-pointers. Tech led by as many as 22 in the first half and led 43-24 at halftime.
No one was hotter from the floor than Robinson. He scored 24 points in the first half, hitting 7 of 8 from beyond the 3-point arc. The seven 3’s combined with three free throws enabled him to equal the scoring output of Syracuse’s team in the first half.
Syracuse cut the lead to eight, 43-35, after scoring the first 11 points of the second half. But the Hokies went on a 14-1 run and never looked back. Continuing their outstanding defense in the second 20 minutes, Tech held the Orange without a field goal for more than seven minutes during that run.
The Hokies held Syracuse to just 36.4 percent shooting for the game and out-rebounded the Orange 31-26.
Tech finished at 52.1 percent from the floor, and in an amazing show of efficiency, assisting on 23 of 25 field goals. Ahmed Hill added 16 points for the Hokies.