Instant Juice: Syracuse 59, Boston College 62 (OT)

Can Syracuse regain its footing after its first loss?

A quick take on Syracuse’s 59-62 loss against Boston College on Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome:

WHAT HAPPENED: It had to happen sometime. Needing a miracle in overtime, Syracuse came up short for the first time all season. BC guard Lonnie Jackson, who came in shooting 56 percent from the line for the season, hit four clutch free throws in the final 30 seconds, including a pair with 11 seconds left to give the Eagles a 3 point lead. Syracuse had one final chance to tie, but Trevor Cooney badly missed the equalizer with six seconds left and the Orange dropped to 25-1.

» Related: There’s nothing quite like a Syracuse basketball game at the Carrier Dome

Syracuse Forward CJ Fair had an off game in Syracuse's first loss of the season
Syracuse Forward CJ Fair had an off game in Syracuse’s first loss of the season

ANALYSIS: Wednesday night saw some of the worst basketball yet played in the Dome this season. The Orange was disjointed all night and let BC stay in it by failing to score effectively, even as the Eagles were bombing away from 3. SU was ice cold from the field again, hitting just 32 percent of its shots, while the Eagles shot 11 for 22 from beyond the arc.

The Orange appeared to be pulling away early in the second half, but BC rode hot outside shooting and  took  a 43-41 lead with just under 7 minutes to go, then stayed even the rest of the way, setting up yet another nerve-wracking finish. Syracuse had multiple chances to pull it out in regulation, but Tyler Ennis and Rakeem Christmas both missed clean looks at the basket. The Orange will need to play substantially better on Saturday to have a hope of besting the vengeful Duke Blue Devils on the road.

HERO: As a team, BC shot 50 percent from 3-point range, which allowed them to shrug off 17 turnovers. Guard Oliver Hanlan scored 20 on 6-14 shooting, and Lonnie Jackson finished with 10 points, including the aforementioned four free throws.

ZERO: CJ Fair has been outstanding as SU’s go-to scorer this season, and he’s exceeded virtually every expectation placed on his shoulders. But the senior was a major part of the Orange’s struggles all game, scoring 20 points on 23 shots and missing badly on many of them, though he did grab 11 boards. With a chance to take the lead with less than 30 seconds left in overtime, the senior threw up a wild shot that barely grazed the rim.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will head down to North Carolina on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. to meet Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. TV: ESPN.

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About Corey Mallonee 50 Articles
In addition to his editing duties, Corey covers the Syracuse football and basketball beat. He has previously worked in the book publishing industry and currently contributes to Syracuse University’s bE Magazine. Originally from Bangor, ME, Corey graduated from Syracuse University in 2007. Follow him on Twitter @CoreyMallonee.