A quick take on Syracuse’s sometimes sharp/sometimes sloppy 75-67 victory over Boston College Saturday afternoon in the Dome:
WHAT HAPPENED: Adorned in its sweet ‘Syracuse’ script throwback home uniforms, SU finished off a season sweep of Boston College leading start-to-finish. The Orange shot 62 percent from beyond the arc and 55 percent overall in the first half to build a 12 point lead, before BC cut the lead to six at the half. The Orange game out of the gates hot after halftime, scoring the first seven points with aggressive play building the lead back to a dozen. Suddenly SU turnovers, a whopping 17, took their toll, combined with the Eagles streaky hot shooting in the final 5:00, made it a back-and-forth finish.
ANALYSIS: As was the case in the first meeting on Dec. 12, a 101-63 Orange romp, Syracuse (12-6, 6-5) came out shooting and built a double-digit lead, but this time around B.C. slowly but surely clawed its way back into the game. Jim Boeheim was actually able to experiment with his rotation, playing both back up centers John Bol Ajak (29 total minutes heading into the game) and Jesse Edwards in the first half to give Marek Dolezaj a combined 3:00 break, and then utilizing the three guard offense out of necessity in the second half when Alan Griffin picked up his fourth foul with 16:30 to play. Buddy Boeheim (second half) and Joe Girard (first half), as in the earlier win over B.C., made significant contributions combining for 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists. ‘Cuse, leading the league in free throw shooting at nearly 80 percent, hit key FTs late to finish near that average; 18-for-23.
HERO: If it were not for his foul trouble, Griffin would have most likely finished with higher game totals. Benched for nine minutes after his fourth personal, Griffin still managed 14 points, eight rebounds, two blocks, two assists, and two steals. Dolezaj, who also finished with four personals, was quietly effective (non-statistically) at both ends playing with usual all-out style. Going 7-for-8 from the foul line, Doelzaj finished with 13 points.
ZERO: Boston College (3-13, 1-9) certainly scraps in each game, but the Eagles have not won an ACC game since an 84-62 victory at home against Miami on Jan. 12, their only conference victory, residing in the conference basement with a 1-9 record. However, a tip-of-the hat to Eagles senior forward Steffon Mitchell in this loss. His impressive afternoon in a game-high 39 minutes featured 12 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and two steals.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse goes back out on the road in ACC play traveling to Louisville for a game at the KFC Yum! Center on Wednesday night, Feb. 17. The two teams were scheduled to play in the Dome Feb. 3, but the game was canceled that morning due to a positive COVID test and quarantine issues within the Cardinals program. Louisville has had its two subsequent games also postponed, not playing since beating Georgia Tech on Feb. 1. Last season SU fell on the road 90-66. Game Time: 6:30 p.m. ET. TV: ACC Network.