A quick take on Syracuse’s 69-61 win over Boston College on Tuesday evening:
WHAT HAPPENED: Patrick Heckmann’s free throw with 12:29 left in the first half gave Boston College an early 13-8 lead. From there, BC would only score four points the rest of the half, and the Orange took a 35-17 into intermission. With Rakeem Christmas in foul trouble and sitting on the bench most of the second half, BC would keep the game within reach. That proved to be a factor when Syracuse had a 64-53 lead with 1:33 left. Turnovers and missed free throws allowed the Eagles to pull within six points with 55 seconds to go, but SU (in the sloppiest manner possible) hung on for their fifth ACC win.
ANALYSIS: A game after its worst offensive performance in ACC play, the Orange fared much better at home with help from Michael Gbinije and Trevor Cooney, who both struggled in the loss to Clemson. The two combined for 32 points on 11-23 shooting from the field after going 4-19 against the Tigers. That made up for the absence of Christmas, who picked up several silly fouls to land him on the bench for most of the second half (he would finish with 12 points and seven rebounds). SU shot 44 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point land, balmy numbers compared to 36 and 13 percent against Clemson.
HERO: Syracuse got some help from freshman Kaleb Joseph, who was visibly more assertive in finishing with 13 points and seven assists. With Christmas sitting most of the second half, Chinonso Obokoh got the most conference playing time of his young career, and chipped in four rebounds and a block.
ZERO: BC’s leading scorer, Olivier Hanlan, came into the game averaging 16.5 points per game. He finished with 10 points on 4-12 shooting. Overall, BC shot 31 percent from the field.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse hosts old Big East rival Miami on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 4 p.m. TV: ESPN2.