New calendar year, same nightmarish Syracuse basketball season.
A New Year’s Day matinee at Boston College, the team voted last in the ACC preseason media poll, was hoped to be a chance for the Orange to start anew. Instead, the Eagles, who had not won a conference game since March 7, 2015, blew out SU, 96-81.
Making matters worse, the game was not nearly as close as that final score makes it appear. BC (8-6, 1-0 ACC) led by 15 points in the first half and eventually held a 22-point lead on six different occasions. Syracuse (8-6, 0-1) actually closed the game on an 8-1 run to make the final deficit 15 points.
The Eagles absolutely torched the Orange, shooting over 57 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from three-point range, including 10-of-14 from deep in the second half and making seven threes in a row at one point. SU shot barely 38 percent from the field in the game, marred by a collective 2-for-14 mark from beyond the arc in the second half.
Andrew White III scored eight of Syracuse’s first ten points of the day, including three-point shots on consecutive possessions to tie the game at 10-10 with just over six minutes elapsed. That would be the only time the score was tied after the first score of the day.
Boston College scored a dozen of the game’s next 16 points in less than three minutes to take a 22-14 lead and never looked back from there. The Orange got a trey from Tyler Lydon to get within five, then traded markers with the Eagles to get within the same margin on two more occasions, but BC responded with a triple and a lay-in for their first double-digit lead with just over five minutes left in the first half.
The hosts stretched their lead to 13 points with 3:24 left in the first half, but Taurean Thompson had a three-point-play to draw the Orange back within ten. The Eagles responded with the next five points to go up, 44-29, with just over a minute left in the opening half. Tyus Battle made a turnaround jumper in the lane and John Gillon dropped in a lay-up from the left side for a 44-33 halftime score.
SU pulled within ten points three times in the first 2:30 of the second half, but Boston College ripped off eight points in under 90 seconds to take a 59-41 lead by the first media timeout after the break. The Eagles pushed the lead out to 21 points just over two minutes later.
Over the next 12 minutes and change, Syracuse never closed within 17 points while BC strengthened their lead to 22 points on a half dozen different occasions. The last time was at 95-73 with 2:22 remaining in the game. Tyler Lydon scored all of the points in an 8-1 Orange run before the final horn, making the final margin mildly more respectable.
Andrew White III led SU with 22 points, hitting four three pointers along the way. Tyler Lydon posted his second straight double-double, this time finishing with 17 points and a dozen boards. Lydon did most of his work after the game was decided, hanging 12 points and ten rebounds in the second half with eight of those points coming in the final 2:12. In his first career start, Taurean Thompson had 14 points. Tyler Roberson had a double-double off the bench, finishing with 11 points and ten rebounds, eight coming on the offensive end.
Boston College’s Ky Bowman lit up the Orange with 30 points, including connecting on 7-of-8 three-pointers. Jerome Robinson hit three triples for part of his 22 points and A.J. Turner drained four treys for most of his 16 points. Nik Popovic had 11 points off the bench and Connar Tava fell one point shy of a double-double, finishing with nine points and ten boards.
Syracuse will open the home portion of their ACC schedule on Wednesday when Miami comes to the Carrier Dome. The Hurricanes (11-2, 1-0) have won seven straight contests, including an 81-63 home win over North Carolina State in their conference opener on Saturday.
Ja’Quan Newton, who leads Miami in scoring at 15.8 points per game, has cracked double figures in scoring in all but one game this year, including leading the ‘Canes with 21 points against the Wolfpack. Davon Reed, who is second on the team with 14.6 points per game, leads the team with 30 three-pointers on the season.
Tip-off will be at 7:00pm Eastern and the game will be televised regionally, as well as streamed online at ESPN3.com.
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