Virginia Tech was outmatched but put up an impressive effort in a 68-66 loss to Syracuse Saturday in Blacksburg.
The Hokies (8-6, 0-1) were without center Joey van Zegeren who was suspended prior to the game due to showing what coach Buzz Williams called a, "a lack of discipline and self-control at practice."
Still, Tech battled the larger, more experienced Orange (10-4, 1-0) right up until the end despite post players Satchel Pierce and Shane Henry both fouling out.
Freshman Justin Bibbs finished with a career and game-high 22 points on 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range and 7-of-14 from the field. He also finsihed with a team-high 11 rebounds. Devin Wilson added 13 points and eight assists. He finished 7-of-9 at the free throw line.
Tech trailed by 19 points at the half but fought back with a 21-7 run to open up the second period, ultimately outscoring the Orange 43-26 in the second half.
Tyler Roberson posted 11 points and a game-high 17 rebounds for Syracuse and Rakeem Christmas 17 points and nine rebounds.
The Hokies return to action Tuesday night at Florida State.