Lammers, Jackson push Georgia Tech past Syracuse, 71-65
Ben Lammers and Tadric Jackson combined for 43 points
The Yellow Jackets (16-11, 7-7 ACC) improved to 6-1 at home in league play, but had to do so with nearly half of sold-out McCamish Pavilion packed with loud Syracuse fans.
They proved up to the test as Lammers dominated on both ends of the floor.
Trying to rally from a 13-point deficit, the Orange (16-12, 8-7) had a chance to tie in the closing seconds, but Tyler Roberson, who played just 7 minutes, committed an offensive foul and Georgia Tech got three free throws from Josh Heath and Lammers to seal the victory.
Taurean Thompson finished with 18 points and Andrew White had 17 for Syracuse (16-12, 8-7). The Orange have lost three straight for the first time since last season.
Lammers, the nation's third-leading shot blocker, played every minute for the second straight game. The 6-foot-10, 227-pound junior went 11 for 18 from the field, pulled down seven rebounds, had a career-high three steals and blocked his sixth shot by swatting down Tyler Lydon's inside shot and immediately hitting a lane jumper to make it a 13-point lead with 9:19 remaining.
Lammers had seven blocks, one short of the school record in an ACC game. Josh Okogie added 13 points for the Jackets.
Syracuse missed 15 of its first 17 shots in the second half before Lydon's dunk cut the lead to 51-40. Georgia Tech made nine of its first 14 shots in the second.
The Orange went up by nine on Thompson's jumper a couple of minutes later. Jackson closed Georgia Tech within three with a 3 at the halftime buzzer.
Syracuse: The offense ground to a halt in the second half before a late run trimmed a 13-point lead to two on Lydon's free throw with 56 seconds left. The Orange managed to overcome double-digit deficits this month in wins over North Carolina State, Virginia and Clemson, but the 3-pointer evaded them this time, going 8 for 30 beyond the arc. They shot 35.7 percent, a school season-low in ACC play. Sunday's loss marked the first time in the last eight games that White didn't score at least 20 points.
Georgia Tech: It's been a constant theme this season that Lammers might be the ACC's most improved player from a year ago, but the Jackets are getting solid efforts from several players on most nights. Quinton Stephens played the entire game and had a career-high eight assists to go with seven points and six rebounds. Jackson has scored in double figures in five of the last seven games. Coach Josh Pastner harps constantly on guard rebounding and he got his wish as Okogie, Heath, Jackson and Corey Heyward combined for 19 of the team's 36 boards.
Kenny Anderson, Dennis Scott and Brian Oliver were introduced to a standing ovation in the first half. Known as Lethal Weapon 3 in 1990, the trio led the Jackets to their first Final Four. Scott, who led the NBA in 3-pointers in 1995-96, even stepped in for a contestant during halftime and knocked down a 3 off the backboard from halfcourt.
Syracuse: Host No. 12 Duke on Wednesday, visit No. 8 Louisville next Sunday. The Orange haven't faced Duke this season. They lost in overtime to Louisville last Monday.
Georgia Tech: Host North Carolina State on Tuesday, visit No. 25 Notre Dame next Sunday. The Jackets last month won at N.C. State and upset Notre Dame.