At home, Syracuse basketball’s offense finds respite against Boston University

Syracuse broke a two-game losing streak with the win
Syracuse broke a two-game losing streak with the win

Less than a week after the entire Syracuse team could muster only 50 points in a loss, John Gillon and Taurean Thompson alone combined for 45 points off the bench as the Orange rebounded with a 99-77 victory over Boston University at the Carrier Dome on Saturday afternoon. The win nudged SU to 5-3 while the Terriers fell to 4-6 with their fifth straight loss.

Leading by a single point with under four minutes left in the first half, Syracuse dominated the next 14 minutes of action, outscoring their guests by 29 points, including a 16-0 stretch early in the second half that blew the game wide open.

That second half was truly telling, as the Orange shot over 55 percent from the field and held BU to under 35 percent from the field. While their defensive performance was not as good as some of the numbers on the stat sheet suggest, SU did force 18 turnovers in the game, including getting 13 steals, and turned those Terrier miscues into 28 points.

After a tight first few opening minutes, Boston was the first team to gain a clear advantage, closing an 8-0 run with a pair of three pointers to grab a 20-12 lead with just over seven minutes elapsed.

The Orange immediately struck back with an 11-3 run to erase that margin. John Gillon and Tyus Battle each struck from deep to slice the margin to two points. After the Terriers got a three-point play, Gillon drilled another three, then Taurean Thompson drained an 18-foot jumper from the left wing to knot the score at 23 a side.

The two squads played pretty evenly for the next four minutes, but Syracuse took the advantage with an 11-2 run, as Gillon and Thompson scored all the points in the burst. With SU holding a one-point lead, Thompson started things off with a reverse lay-up, then Gillon buried two foul shots and a long straightaway three.

Boston paused the streak with a lay-up, but Thompson matched that score with a stickback, then added a pull-up jumper from the foul line for a 43-33 Syracuse lead.

» Related: Loss to UConn is nightmare Syracuse basketball can’t forget

The Terriers lived up to their nickname, scrapping back into the game and eventually getting a three-pointer just before halftime to draw within 45-39 at the break.

BU closed the margin to four points just over a minute into the second half, but the Orange dropped 16 straight points to blow the game open. Thompson, who scored ten points in the stretch, started the run with a short jumper in the lane and followed that with a left wing three while trailing in transition.

Andrew White III connected on his own transition three, then Thompson added a right elbow jumper and a putback. SU closed the run with four free throws from three different players, the final one from Thompson, for a commanding 64-44 lead with less than five minutes off the clock.

Less than four minutes later, Syracuse added another run, needing just over two minutes to hang 11 straight points on the Terriers. Six of the points came from the line, bookending White III striking from long range and Tyler Lydon swirling in a long jump shot. That streak gave the Orange an 81-51 lead with over nine minutes left in the game.

SU nudged the lead out to 33 points a couple minutes later, then coasted to the final horn from there.

John Gillon was scorching from the field, knocking down 6-of-7 threes and 7-of-9 field goals overall en route to his team-leading 23 points. Taurean Thompson also blistered the nets, connecting on 10-of-13 shots as he piled up 22 points in only 19 minutes of action. In addition to snaring four steals, Andrew White III joined Gillon as a long bomber, draining five threes for most of his 19 points, while Tyler Lydon chipped in with ten points. Frank Howard handed out 11 assists and came up with three swipes in the game.

Cedric Hankerson tied a Carrier Dome record for most three-pointers in a game by a visiting player, hitting ten times from beyond the arc as he piled up 34 points. Eric Fanning was the only other Boston player to reach double figures, adding a dozen points to his game-high nine rebounds.

The Orange will rest until next Saturday, when they welcome historic Big East rival Georgetown back to the Carrier Dome. The Hoyas are 6-4 on the season and will bring a four-game win streak with them to Syracuse. Rodney Pryor (20.6 points/game) and L.J. Peak (16.4 points/game) are the leading scorers for Georgetown.

Syracuse will honor the late Pearl Washington at the game.

ESPN will televise the showdown, which will be at noon Eastern, and stream the game online at

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About Jim Stechschulte 894 Articles
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. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by He currently resides in Syracuse.