In first game, Georgia Tech defeats UTEP at Legends Classic
If the Orange fans that packed Boardwalk Hall (a healthy attendance of 6,273) for the Legends Classic were expecting an easy win Black Friday, they were in for a shock. The ninth-ranked Syracuse squad held on for a low scoring 53-50 victory over the upstart Michigan Wolverines. It was a battle even though the Syracuse defense held Michigan to 32 percent overall, and 25 percent from the 3-point line. On paper, that’s a blowout.
Despite their poor shooting, the Wolverines were even with Syracuse on the boards (37 to ‘Cuse’s 39) and won the turnover battle 14 to 9). However, John Beilein’s Michigan team had no answer for Syracuse forward Kris Joseph, who scored 22 points on an array of dazzling moves around the basket and 3-6 from the 3-point line. Rick Jackson pitched in with 10 points and 12 rebounds, and point guard Scoop Jardine provided 11 points and five assists.
Still it wasn’t until Jardine hit two free throws for a 52-48 lead and seconds left that Syracuse secured the win.
Tim Hardaway, Jr., the son of the former NBA star, and Morgan Jordan led Michigan with 11 points each. Point guard Darius Morris had a poor shooting night (3-10, 0-4 from 3-point line) with six assists but four turnovers.
In the first game of the Legends Classic, Georgia Tech used their speed to pull away from the UTEP Miners 71-61. Although UTEP stayed close most of the game, the Yellow Jackets turned a 56-54 lead at the 5:46 mark to a 63-54 advantage with 3:33 left on an Iman Shumpert lay-up, a couple of Shumpert steals and five points by Brian Oliver of Glassboro, NJ.
Glen Rice, Jr. another son of an NBA great, finished with 19 points to lead Georgia Tech and Oliver finished with 15. Randy Culpepper led a balanced UTEP offense with 13 points.
UTEP will play Michigan at 5:30pm tonight in the consolation game, and Syracuse plays Georgia Tech in the Championship game at 8pm.