Girard takes control, and Syracuse wins again

Girard Va Tech
Jan 8, 2020: Syracuse Orange guard Joe Girard III (11) looks to drive against Virginia Tech Hokies guard Jalen Cone (15) during a 67-63 loss at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Initra Marilyn, The Juice Online.

Syracuse struggled for much of Tuesday night, but used a couple first half runs to build a big enough lead to hold off Boston College for their fourth consecutive win, 73-64. The Orange (13-11, 7-6 ACC) put together an 8-2 run to take a ten-point lead just past the midpoint of the first half, then added an 8-3 run several minutes later to push that margin out to a dozen over the Eagles (9-13, 4-8).

SU shot well from behind lines, but not well elsewhere, making 11-of-24 three-pointers and 14-of-16 foul shots in the game. The hosts, however, struggled from just about everywhere, shooting 37.5 percent from the field and just 21.4 percent from three-point range.

Both teams were cold out of the gate, as it took nearly three minutes for either team to score and almost eight minutes for one squad to reach double figures. Once they were the first team to crack double digits, Syracuse got things going a little faster, getting back-to-back triples from Cole Swider to finish an 8-2 burst for a 19-9 lead with just over eight minutes left in the half.

BC chipped away, getting within a half dozen points a handful of times, but Buddy Boeheim and Swider connected from behind the arc within 25 seconds of each other to double the lead to 32-20 with under four minutes until halftime. The Orange used held most of that margin at the half, leading 34-24 when the horn sounded.

The Eagles closed within eight points three minutes after returning to action, but SU responded with a 9-2 run for their biggest lead of the game. Frank Anselem started the streak with a three-point play and Swider closed it with a triple for a 50-35 lead just over three minutes later.

Boston College crawled within eight points once more with under four minutes on the clock, but Joe Girard III slammed the door by going 8-for-8 at the foul line and adding a stepback three after the hosts drew within seven points with a little over two minutes to play.

» Related: Syracuse hangs on for win over Boston College

Cole Swider claimed game high honors by pouring in 21 points, including draining 5-of-8 three-pointers, and grabbed eight boards to lead SU. Girard rallied from a slow start, piling up 17 of his 19 points in the second half. Buddy Boeheim had 12 of his 14 points in the first half and Jimmy Boeheim chipped in with 11.

Jaeden Zackery paced the Eagles with 18 points, draining three shots from deep along the way. DeMarr Langford Jr. and Quinten Post each had 14 points, the latter grabbing an equal number of rebounds in the game. Makai Ashton-Langford helped the BC cause with nine points.

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About Jim Stechschulte 805 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 NBA.com. He currently resides in Syracuse. Follow him on Twitter @DSafetyGuy.