BLACKSBURG, Va. — Justin Robinson scored 24 of his career-high 35 points in the first half and No. 10 Virginia Tech beat Syracuse 78-56 on Saturday night.
Robinson made a career-best seven 3-pointers before halftime when the Hokies (16-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) used a 20-5 run to open a 34-16 lead. Robinson had 12 points in the surge as Virginia Tech led by as many as 22 in the half and by 43-24 at the break.
Syracuse made a run to start the second half, scoring the first 11 points to get to 43-35, but the Hokies answered with a 14-1 burst, rebuilding the lead to 57-36. The Orange (14-6, 5-2) never got closer than 15 again. Oshae Brissett scored 16 to lead Syracuse and Frank Howard had 13, while Elijah Hughes, their second-leading scorer at 15.3 points per game, managed just six on 2-for-13 shooting with four turnovers.
The game started as a 3-point contest with the first seven baskets coming from beyond the arc, but Syracuse couldn’t keep pace with Robinson, who matched their first-half scoring total. He also set the school record with nine 3-pointers (in 13 tries) and had eight assists to pass Bimbo Coles as the school’s career leader with 548. Robinson left to rousing applause late in the game.
Syracuse: The Orange arrived ranked ninth nationally in field goal defense, but allowed the Hokies to make 14 of 26 shots, including 10 3-pointers, in the first half. Robinson had never made more than four 3-pointers in an ACC game in his career, but was 7 for 8, all on 3s, in the half. Virginia Tech finished 25 for 48 from the field for the game, 52.1 percent.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies played perhaps their best half of basketball this season in the first half, making more 3-pointers, 10, than Syracuse made field goals, nine. They had 12 assists on 14 field goals, forced nine turnovers and scored 14 points off those takeaways. The Orange, meantime, scored just two points off seven Virginia Tech mistakes. The Orange also had three shot-clock violations in the half.