Syracuse works over ACC’s punching bag, Boston College

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Dajuan Coleman logged 26 minutes in the win

On a lethargic night at the Carrier Dome, a pair of dominant Syracuse runs did not lift the mood, but they were enough to boost the Orange to a 62-40 victory over Boston College. A 21-2 run in the first half and a 23-5 burst in the second provided most of the punch for SU, as they snapped a four-game slide to open ACC play and nudged themselves to 11-7 on the season. The Eagles fell to 0-3 in conference play and 7-9 overall.

Neither team played particularly well on the night, but Syracuse found more than enough success inside to win. The Orange owned a 34-14 advantage in points in the paint, as they shot 62.1 percent on two-point field goals and 47.8 percent overall.

Boston College entered the game last in the ACC in scoring and with one of the worst offenses in the nation. The Eagles did nothing to change that, shooting under 32 percent on the night.

The two teams played a see-saw game in the opening minutes, trading the lead several times. Neither team was particularly successful on offense after their first couple possessions and BC held an 11-9 lead with nine minutes elapsed.

SU began grinding down the Eagles after that, scoring 14 consecutive points. Malachi Richardson started things off with a pair of foul shots, then set up Tyler Roberson for a three-point play that put Syracuse on top for good. Michael Gbinije tacked on a pair of free throws, then a lay-in off a loose ball offensive rebound. After Roberson scored inside once more, Gbinije added another foul shot, then floated a pass to Tyler Lydon for a lay-in and a 23-11 Orange lead.

» Related: Boston College is a reprieve, but danger looms ahead for Orange

An Eagle jump shot stopped the streak, but Lydon stuck a jump shot, then Gbinije hit a three. Roberson tapped home a miss and SU led by 17 points. Boston College struck back with a score right before half, nipping the Syracuse lead to 30-15.

The Eagles owned the opening seven minutes of the second half, even using an 8-0 run slice the gap to seven points. After BC got within seven a second time, the Orange turned on the jets once more.

Led by Richardson, SU scored the game’s next 11 points. First, the freshman forward set up DaJuan Coleman on the doorstep for a lay-in, then hit a floater on a left side drive and a pair from the line. A couple minutes later, Richardson drilled a three from the top of the key. Trevor Cooney drove for a lay-in and Syracuse was on top, 48-30, with just over eight minutes on the clock.

After an Eagle charity shot, Richardson scored inside again, then Cooney buried a trey to push the lead to 22. A couple minutes later, Richardson triggered five straight points to stretch the Orange lead to 25 points by making a pair of free throws, then setting up Coleman for a three-point-play.

Malachi Richardson led a balanced SU scoring attack, as his 15 points topped four players in double digits. Richardson tallied 13 points in the second half. In contrast, Michael Gbinije did most of his work in the opening half, piling up a dozen of his 14 points before the break. DaJuan Coleman had 11 points and Tyler Roberson had a double-double of ten points and a dozen rebounds in spite of sitting out the game’s final 14:22 with four fouls.

Eli Carter was the lone Boston College player to reach double figures, finishing with 13 points, including eight points in the game’s opening six minutes. Matt Milon and Garland Owens each added six points for the Eagles.

SU will now set off for three road games in eight days, starting with Saturday’s noon tip-off at Wake Forest. Wednesday night, the Demon Deacons (10-6, 1-3) dropped a 93-91 shootout at Virginia Tech, their fourth loss in their last six games.

Devin Thomas is the main man for Wake, as he averages a double-double on the season at 16.9 points and 10.4 rebounds while making 58.5 percent of his field goals and blocking 31 shots on the year. Three different players (Bryant Crawford, Konstantinos Mitoglou, and Mitchell Wilbekin) have connected on at least 28 threes on the season at over a 35 percent rate for the Demon Deacons.

The ACC Network will provide television coverage, so check your local listings. The telecast can also be seen online at espn3.com and through the WatchESPN app.

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Jim Stechschulte

About Jim Stechschulte

A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade, where he currently resides. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. Follow him on Twitter @DSafetyGuy.
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