Syracuse’s attack leaves overmatched Boston College flailing

Joe Girard III Boston College
Jan 15, 2020: Syracuse Orange guard Joe Girard III (11) looks to drive against the Boston College Eagles during a 76-50 win at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

Syracuse never trailed and were only tied twice in the opening moments before claiming a 76-56 home win to complete the season sweep over Boston College.  The Orange (14-12, 8-7 ACC) ran off nine straight points midway through the opening half to get some breathing room, then added a burst of 13 straight to grab a 36-15 lead over the Eagles (9-15, 4-10) late in the first session.

That 21-point cushion proved to be enough for the remainder of the game, as SU shot the ball well enough (50.8 percent from the field, 43.5 percent from three-point range) to offset some deficiencies in other areas.  Syracuse turned the ball over 13 times, including nine while building that big first half lead, and gave up 14 offensive rebounds, but their marksmanship, combined with early poor play from the visitors, meant the outcome was never truly in question.

Boston College’s first half output essentially doomed them for the entire game.  The Eagles shot barely over 28 percent from the field and just 1-of-14 from three-point range while also committing a dozen turnovers in the opening session.  They found themselves in a 36-21 halftime hole after scoring the final half dozen points of the session and could only draw within 12 points on two occasions after that.

Four different Orange players contributed during a 9-0 run that gave them their first double-digit lead at 18-8 just before the middle of the first half.  Jimmy Boeheim played a significant role in the next SU run, scoring six of 13 unanswered SU points by getting lay-ups on three straight possessions.  Cole Swider knocked down a jumper to cap the barrage with Syracuse holding a 21-point lead with just over three minutes until halftime.

BC tallied the last six points of the half and added a triple to open the second half scoring, clipping the margin to a dozen points, but the Orange responded with another run.  The 12-2 spurt gave the hosts their biggest lead of the day at 48-26 with 15:28 remaining.

The Eagles clawed back with ten straight points, but Swider and Joe Girard III sandwiched a Boston College foul shot between three-pointers to ignite a 10-3 run.  Swider, who had eight points in this burst, bookended the streak with a lay-up to extend the SU lead to 58-39 and end any BC comeback dreams.

Buddy Boeheim and Cole Swider each had 18 points to share game-high honors, the former scoring a dozen points in the first half and grabbing five steals while the latter connected on three three-pointers.  Joe Girard III did Swider one better, hitting from long range four times as he had 11 of his 16 points in the second half.  Jimmy Boeheim logged his fourth double-double of the year, notching 13 points and ten rebounds.

James Karnik led the Boston College attack with 11 points and 11 rebounds.  DeMarr Langford Jr. and Quinten Post each pitched in with ten points, but Langford left the game shortly before halftime and never returned to the contest.  Jaeden Zackery added eight points and collected three steals.


Syracuse shot 34 percent or better from three (43.5 percent) while holding their opponent to 30 percent or worse from beyond the arc (17.9 percent) for the fourth straight game.  The Orange are now 56-5 since joining the ACC when they hit this pair of statistical markers.

After entering the game when Frank Anselem picked up a pair of fouls, Bourama Sidibe made a quick contribution with a basket and a blocked shot on a closeout in the corner.  Sidibe went on to play a total of 18:23 in the game, grabbing four boards to go with two blocks, two steals, and that basket.  The playing time is the most important stat, as it suggests he may be a viable bench option behind Anselem.

While he had a good first half shooting the ball, Buddy Boeheim was exceptionally careless with the rock otherwise.  He committed four turnovers in the opening half, but was fortunate that Boston College was not able to capitalize on any of them.

Lay-ups made a massive difference on the scoresheet.  Syracuse made 13-of-17 lay-ups, while BC managed to coax just 9-of-19 home.

Joe Girard III went 4-of-8 from long range on the day, dropping him to 53.1 percent over his last five games.  His success on the day did push him to 43.8 percent from three for the season, which would be good for the fifth-best single season mark at SU if the season were to end today.

Cole Swider is actually shooting even better from beyond the arc than Girard in the last five games, connecting on 55.6 percent of his threes in that time.  The Villanova transfer has shot 58.6 percent from deep in his last six games and is up to 38.9 percent on the campaign.

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The Orange will play the second of five games in ten days on Monday night when they host Georgia Tech.  The Yellow Jackets (10-15, 3-11), who have lost five of their last six games overall and have not won on the road in over a month, are last in the ACC and play at Pittsburgh Saturday night before hopping up to Syracuse.

Michael Devoe and Jordan Usher are the leading men for Georgia Tech.  After averaging over 15 points an outing in each of the last two seasons, Devoe has upped his production to 18.6 points per game on the season and also leads the team in assists and steals.  Usher backs him with 14.6 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds per game.

Monday’s game will get underway at 7:00pm Eastern and the game will be televised on regional sports networks.

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About Jim Stechschulte 894 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 He currently resides in Syracuse.