A quick take on Syracuse’s 73-64 road win over Boston College on Tuesday evening:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse, up double digits for the majority of the second half, saw its lead dwindle to 7 points after a Jaeden Zackery basket plus a foul made it 62-55 with 2:52 to go. But Joe Girard put any chance at an upset out of the question after he hit a step-back 3-pointer right in front of the Syracuse bench to extend the lead back to 10. It was part of nine consecutive points down the stretch for the junior as the Orange won its fourth straight game and climbed to two games above .500 for the first time in the calendar year.
ANALYSIS: There’s one statistic that separated the two teams on Tuesday. Syracuse shot 11-24 from downtown (45 percent) while the Eagles shot 6-28 from beyond the arc (21.4 percent). Boston College came into Tuesday as one of the worst shooting teams in the ACC (30.4 percent from 3), and it was on display again. But for as much as Boston College struggled on offense, it kept pace with SU because some of the Orange’s top options (Jesse Edwards and Buddy Boeheim) struggled. Regardless, a win is a win, and for all of Syracuse’s frustrating losses this season (and there have been many), the Orange is 7-6 in the ACC and in sole possession of seventh place. Better yet, Syracuse has three consecutive games against teams with losing conference records (Virginia Tech, Boston College and Georgia Tech) ahead.
HERO: Cole Swider continued his torrid shooting, finishing with 21 points on 5-8 shooting from downtown. Girard, after scoring only 2 points and half, came alive out of intermission, and finished with 19 points, four assists and four rebounds.
ZERO: Jesse Edwards had a run of five straight games where he didn’t foul out. That streak came to a crashing halt on Tuesday, as he went scoreless for the first time this season and was limited to two rebounds. The good news? Frank Anselem had one of his best games in a Syracuse uniform, finishing with 5 points and 6 rebounds in his place. Buddy Boeheim finisehd with 14 points, but was 2-9 from downtown.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse stays on the road and heads to Virginia Tech to play the Hokies on Saturday at 6 p.m. TV: ESPN2. The Hokies are as hot as the Orange, having won their last four games, including a 74-47 rout over Pitt on Monday evening.