Instant Juice: Syracuse 76, Boston College 56

Feb 13, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Joseph Girard III (11) shoots the ball between Boston College Eagles guard Makai Ashton-Langford (4) and guard Rich Kelly (22) during the first half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

A quick take on Syracuse’s in-control 76-56 win over Boston College Saturday afternoon in the Dome:

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse (14-12, 8-7) led from start to finish beating Boston College for the second time in 11 days, and moved above .500 in ACC play.  Nearly 50% shooting in the first half gave Syracuse a 36-21 lead at intermission, before Boston College (9-15, 4-11) went on a 10-0 run early in the second half to make things interesting, although the SU lead never went under double digits the rest of the way.  Both teams struggled scoring consistently, but the Orange received balanced offense with four starters in double figures, and an energetic defensive effort held the Eagles to 56 points, eight less than in the win at Chestnut Hill on Feb. 8.  At halftime, the university honored the legacy of Manny Breland (1954, 55, 57), the first African-American player to be offered a scholarship on the men’s team at Syracuse, who died in December at age 87 after battling pancreatic cancer.

ANALYSIS: The flow of the game also allowed Jim Boeheim to mix and match his lineups.  Bourama Sidibe played just one minute less than starter Frank Anselem (19-to-18) in the middle and contributed two points, four rebounds, two steals, and two emphatic blocked shots.  Jimmy Boeheim saw time at center in a three guard lineup and had a team-high 10 rebounds.  Jimmy and Buddy Boeheim combined for 31 points.  The Orange’s active defense led to 13 steals, five in the first half from Buddy Boeheim, and forced 15 BC turnovers directly resulting in 23 SU points.

HERO: Very quietly, Cole Swider had an impressive stat line and hit some key second half baskets to maintain the ‘Cuse advantage.  Swider finished with 18 points (three treys), four rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and one of the 13 SU steals.

» Related: Timing running out for Syracuse to avoid losing record

ZERO: BC shot just 9-of-32 in the first half, 1-for-14 from beyond the arc and didn’t finish much better after halftime, just 4-of-14 from long range – 17% for the game.  Eagles forward DeMarr Langford had a team-leading 10 first half points playing 16 minutes, but did not play in the second half without an official in-game explanation (afterwards reported to be a toe injury).

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse has a quick turnaround hosting Georgia Tech this Monday night, February 21 at the Dome.  The game was originally scheduled for December 29, but postponed due to COVID-19 protocols.  Last season, the Orange fell to the Yellow Jackets 84-77 in Atlanta.  Georgia Tech (10-15, 3-11) lost in its last game this past Tuesday night at home to N.C. State 76-61, and plays at Pittsburgh Saturday evening.  Game Time: 7:00 p.m. ET.  TV: ACC Regional Sports Networks.

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.