SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Thanks to a second-half comeback, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team has finally beaten Syracuse at the Carrier Dome.
The Hokies rallied to beat Syracuse 67-63 on Tuesday night.
Virginia Tech had been 0-6 all-time against Syracuse at the Carrier Dome.
Tech won at Syracuse for the first time since February 1976, back when the Orange played in Manley Field House and before Jim Boeheim became the Syracuse coach.
Tech's only previous win at the Carrier Dome had been against Fairfield in Syracuse's Carrier Classic tournament in 2000.
The Hokies (11-4, 2-2 ACC) trailed by nine points with 12:08 to go before mounting a comeback.
Freshman guard Jalen Cone scored a career-high 19 points off the bench for the Hokies, including 16 points in the second half. Cone was from 5 of 7 from 3-point range in the game.
Virginia Tech redshirt freshman Landers Nolley II scored 13 points, while junior forward P.J. Horne had 12 points.
Wabissa Bede had eight assists for the Hokies, who had 20 assists on their 21 baskets.
Elijah Hughes scored 18 points for Syracuse (8-7, 1-3).
The Hokies shot 42% from the field against Syracuse’s trademark 2-3 zone defense.
The Hokies were 10 of 36 from 3-point range (27.8%).
Virginia Tech had entered Tuesday tied for 11th nationally in 3-pointers (10.3 per game) and ranked second in the ACC in 3-point field-goal percentage (37.9%).
Down 40-31 with 12:08 to go, Virginia Tech went on an 21-4 run to grab a 52-44 lead with 7:46 remaining. Tech led the rest of the way.
Cone had 11 points in the run, including a pair of four-point plays in which he made a 3-pointer, was fouled, and sank the ensuing free throw.
Nolley had six points in the run and Horne four points.
Tech had four 3-pointers in that run.
Hughes later made one of two free throws to cut the Tech lead to 55-50 with 4:34 left.
Horne answered with two free throws for a 57-50 lead with 4:12 remaining.
Hughes made a layup to cut the lead to 57-52.
Bourama Sidibe scored to trim the deficit to 57-54 with 2:08 to go.
But Cone buried a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 60-54 with 1:42 to go.
After, Hughes made two free throws to cut the lead to 60-56 with 1:32 to go, Tech’s Wabissa Bede made two free throws for a 62-56 lead.
Hughes made a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 62-59, but Horne made an outside shot (which was initially ruled a 3-pointer before a replay review changed it to a 2-pointer) with the shot clock winding down to extend the lead to 64-59 with 41.5 seconds left.
Quincy Guerrier scored to cut the lead to 64-61 with 23.9 seconds left. He was fouled on the play but missed the free throw.
Nolley made two free throws to extend the lead to 66-61.
Guerrier made a layup to cut the lead to 66-63 with 9.4 seconds remaining.
Nolley made one of two free throws with 8.8 seconds left to give Tech a 67-63 lead and seal the win.
Tech was 15 of 21 from the free-throw line.
Syracuse was 6 of 17 from 3-point range. Syracuse entered the game tied for 20th nationally in 3-pointers. (9.9 per game).
The Orange, who started a pair of 6-foot-10 players, outrebounded Tech 34-33.
Syracuse led 33-27 at halftime.
The Orange shot 52.2% from the field in the first half to Tech’s 42.3%.
Virginia Tech was 5 of 18 (27.8%) from 3-point range in the first half.
Nolley was just 2 of 7 from the field in the first half, including 0 of 5 from 3-point range.
Leading 18-16 with 7:30 left in the first half, Syracuse went on a 12-3 run to build a 30-19 cushion with 2:00 left in the half.
Virginia Tech was coming off a 65-39 loss last weekend at nationally ranked Virginia — the fewest points Tech had scored since a 43-33 loss at East Carolina in February 1967.
Tech had shot just 27.1% from the field at UVa — its worst field-goal percentage since a February 2008 loss to North Carolina. Tech had made only four 3-pointers at UVa.