Saturday afternoon, Syracuse used a series of runs to extract a large measure of revenge, waxing Boston College at home, 76-53. The Orange (11-7, 3-2 ACC) pitched four shutout runs in the game, including a 9-0 burst in the first half to get breathing room and a 13-0 streak in the second half, to finish off the Eagles (9-9, 2-3).
SU played well on defense, forcing 20 BC turnovers, with 15 of them coming in the opening half, and converted them into 20 points on offense. That defensive effort focused on Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson, who combined for 52 points in the first matchup of the two teams, including ten three-pointers. On Saturday, that duo could only muster a dozen points, shooting 4-of-20 from the field and 2-of-11 on threes.
Taurean Thompson got the Syracuse offense going in the opening minutes, cashing a pair of mid-range jumpers and a lay-up for a quick 6-2 lead. Boston College would fight back, eventually snagging a 13-12 lead just over seven minutes into the action.
The Orange responded with a 14-2 run to grab a double-digit lead, holding BC without a field goal for over nine minutes. Andrew White III opened the run with a foul shot, then Tyler Roberson kept it going with a pair of scores, hitting a 12-footer and finishing a give-and-go with Tyler Lydon with a lay-up for a 17-13 SU lead.
On the heels of two Eagle free throws, Lydon hit a turnaround jumper as the base of a three-point-play to open nine straight SU points. Tyus Battle did the rest of the heavy lifting, connecting thrice from the stripe in two visits and adding a triple from the left wing for good measure. The bomb gave Syracuse a 26-15 lead with just over four minutes left in the opening half.
White III would later push the lead out to 13 points before the end of the half, burying an 18-foot jumper from inside the top of the key and a three from the left corner. The latter shot gave the Orange a 35-22 halftime lead.
SU came out firing in the second half, scoring on their first three possessions to make it 11 consecutive points. The three buckets were all close ones, as Battle finished on a drive to open the scoring, Lydon tapped home a miss, and Thompson notched a lay-up for a 41-22 lead that forced a Boston College timeout.
The Syracuse lead bounced between 14 and 19 points for the next several minutes, but near the midpoint of the half, the Orange ripped off 13 straight points to blow the game open.
Battle ripped the twine on a right wing three to start the run, then Lydon swished a jumper from beyond the left elbow. Lydon was just getting started, as he added a transition deuce and a putback. John Gillon converted a pair of free throws after a flagrant foul, then, after SU retained possession, Lydon snatched a rebound from the sky, power dribbled, and stuffed the ball home.
In just over four minutes, the Orange had pushed the lead out to 65-38 with 6:40 showing on the clock.
Boston College would clip the margin down to 21 points, but SU would snap back with seven straight points for their biggest lead of the game. Battle finished the burst with a lay-up from the left side and a deep three from the right wing. The trey gave the Orange a 74-46 lead with three minutes left and the walk-ons would finish off the game shortly after.
Syracuse benefited from a diverse offensive attack, as four players cracked double digits. Tyus Battle paced all scorers with 21 points, including connecting on three triples, and grabbed three steals. Tyler Lydon added 16 points. Andrew White III joined Battle with three steals while finishing with 13 points and Taurean Thompson chipped in with ten points.
Nik Popvic was the only Boston College player to reach double figures, finishing the game with 13 points. Jerome Robinson added nine points while Jordan Chatman chipped in with eight.
The Orange face a short turnaround, as they will hop on a plane Sunday to go to Chapel Hill to face #11 North Carolina on Monday night. The Tar Heels (16-3, 4-1) have won four straight, including Saturday’s 96-83 home victory over #9 Florida State, 96-83.
UNC features a high-powered offense, averaging just under 90 points per game on the year. Four different players average over a dozen points per game for the Heels, led by Justin Jackson’s 17.9 points per game. Joel Berry II is close on his heels at 16.2 points per outing. Both players have made over 40 threes already this season.
ESPN will televise the game, which will tip off at 7:00pm Eastern. The game will also be streamed online at ESPN3.com.