Tuesday night, Syracuse used a series of runs to survive a three-point barrage at Boston College and leave with an 84-71 victory. The Orange (17-13, 10-9 ACC) got some breathing room before halftime with one run, used another to take a double figure lead, and got a final flurry to blow the game open. The victory nudged SU into fifth place in the ACC a week before the conference tournament gets underway.
The Eagles (13-17, 7-12) made a school record 19 three-pointers on the night, but were nearly punchless beyond their proficiency from deep. BC made just a half dozen field goals inside the arc and a measly 2-of-10 free throws on the night.
Syracuse had a more balanced attack, getting 28 points in the paint and connected on 21-of-25 from the line. The Orange defense also turned over Boston College 18 times while committing just ten miscues in the game.
The Eagles posted the first run of the night, rattling off eight straight points in the opening minutes for an 8-4 lead. SU immediately responded with nine straight points to go back on top. Buddy Boeheim went the distance with a steal for a lay-up, then Elijah Hughes took care of the rest. Hughes swished a fadeaway from the stripe, then added a trey from right of center and a right wing pull-up jumper for a 13-8 lead.
Boston College crept back within a point in part due to the Orange missing eight straight shots at one point. SU needed just over three minutes late in the first half to hang an 8-1 run and get some breathing room. Boeheim swished a jumper, then Hughes got a friendly bounce on a stepback from the mid-post. The Eagles got one free throw, but Boeheim made two of three, then Hughes added a fadeaway for a 33-25 lead.
Marek Dolezaj made two foul shots for a 35-27 Syracuse halftime lead, then Boeheim hit a turnaround and a triple for the first double-figure advantage of the night at 40-27 a little over a minute into the second half.
BC hung eight of ten points to get within seven, then later shaved another point off the lead. The Orange responded with seven straight points to get a double-figure edge once more. Boeheim connected from long range on an inbounds play, then Hughes added a short baseline jumper, then one from just inside the arc to force an Eagle time out with SU holding a 51-38 lead under six minutes into the second session.
Three-and-a-half minutes later, Syracuse rolled up seven more points in a row, this time triggering a 19-6 burst that effectively ended the game with just under six minutes remaining. Boeheim made two free throws to start the run, then Hughes drained a deep three. Bourama Sidibe ripped away an offensive rebound from a BC player and emphatically slammed the ball home, pushing the lead to 60-42.
Sidibe also started the run’s 8-0 finishing kick with a three-point-play on the offensive glass. Joe Girard III added a transition three, then Dolezaj tossed a lob that Quincy Guerrier directed through the hoop for a 72-48 Orange stranglehold.
Boston College got a 12-2 run to draw within a dozen points, but it was too little, too late as only 1:21 remained. The final Eagle three of the night got them within 11 points a minute later, but a pair of Howard Washington foul shots closed the scorebook.
Elijah Hughes topped all scorers by pouring in 28 points in the contest while Buddy Boeheim added 21, including 15 in the second half. Both players connected on three triples and Boeheim also gathered three steals on the night. Bourama Sidibe finished just shy of his third consecutive double-double, posting nine second half points and a dozen rebounds.
Derryck Thornton hit six three-pointers to pace Boston College with 18 points. Jay Heath connected from downtown five times and finished with 17 points. Julian Rishwain added a dozen points while Steffon Mitchell came close to a triple-double, finishing with seven points, 11 rebounds, and ten assists.
SU will wrap their campaign with a trip to Miami on Saturday. The Hurricanes (14-14, 6-12) will have a home contest against #22 Virginia on Wednesday prior to hosting the Orange.
Three guards average over 13 points per game for the ‘Canes, led by Chris Lykes at 15.2 points per outing. Lykes has made 44 threes on the season, which trails second-leading scorer Dejan Vasiljevic, who has made 63 triples while averaging 13.2 points per game on the campaign. Kemron McGusty chips in with 13.0 points per game for Miami.
The action will get underway at 4:00pm Eastern and the game will be televised on the ACC Network.