A quick take on Syracuse’s 70-56 win over Boston College on Wednesday evening:
WHAT HAPPENED: An Olivier Hanlan jumper with 13:13 left pulled the Eagles to within 41-40 in what had been a tightly contested game to that point. From there, Syracuse went on a 8-2 run to take a seven point lead, and a 9-0 run later in the second half gave the Orange a commanding 67-50 lead with just under four minutes left. The 16th win of the season guaranteed that SU will not having a losing season this year.
ANALYSIS: Boston College’s executed its strategy of making someone other than Rakeem Christmas beat them. Each time Christmas touched the ball, he was double and triple teamed, and was forced into five turnovers. He was held below double digits in points for just the second time this season. But the Orange got offense from a pair of unlikely sources: Kaleb Joseph and the seldom-used BJ Johnson. Joseph was a perfect 7-7 from the field, and Johnson (who came in shooting 18 percent from downtown) buried four 3-pointers in a rare show of offense from Jim Boeheim’s thin bench. It was part of a balmy offensive night for the Orange, who shot 49 percent from the field, 8-21 from downtown, and 9-11 from the free throw line.
HERO: Michael Gbinije continued his hot hand, finishing with 21 points on 8-11 shooting. He also stuffed the stat sheet with seven points, four assists and four rebounds. Joseph finished a perfect 7-7 from the field for 14 points and Johnson had 12 off the bench in relief of an ineffective Tyler Roberson. Aaron Brown led BC with 19 points.
ZERO: The Eagles didn’t get much home cooking from a mostly apathetic crowd. There were plenty of open seats at the tip, and the Silvio Conte Forum was filled with chants of “Let’s Go Orange!” as time winded down.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse returns home to host Duke on Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. T: ESPN/ESPN2.