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ACC Opening Win: Syracuse uses stiff defense to halt Virginia Tech on New Year's Eve

Tyus Battle chipped in with 17 points in Syracuse's 68-56 win over Virginia Tech in the ACC Opener on Sunday night. (PHOTO: ESPNU)

The Syracuse University men's basketball team used an 11-0 second half rally to take down the Virginia Tech Hokies in the ACC opener on Sunday from the Carrier Dome.

Oshae Brissett led the way for the Orange with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Tyus Battle and Frank Howard each chipped in 17 points apiece.

Meanwhile, redshirt-freshman forward Matthew Moyer recorded the first double-double of his college career, posting 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Syracuse took a 32-19 lead at the half, but the Hokies fired back with a 12-0 run, knocking down four consecutive three-pointers to climb back into the game, cutting the deficit to 34-31.

But that's when the Orange responded with a 12-0 run, led by Brissett and Battle, as the Orange improved to 12-2 overall and 1-0 in the ACC.

"We got back into our groove on the defensive end," Howard said after the game. "We're moving, guys are using their length, rotating and blocking shots. We've been waiting to get to the ACC and now we're here. The guys are excited and we want to keep it going."

"It shows how great we are defensively when everyone's dialed in," Brissett added. "We were moving really well, blocking shots, getting our hands up, getting charges -- so that was something coach [Boeheim] was really happy about, and we were really happy about also."

Syracuse will return to action Wednesday night when it visits Wake Forest for a 7 p.m. tip. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

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