Boston College falls to Syracuse by a score of 81 to 63 on a night where nothing could go wrong for the Orange.
Jerome Robinson, who led BC in scoring with 21 points, got the Eagles out to an early 14-7 lead after hitting his first 4 shots. Robinson was the spark throughout the night. With 12 minutes to go in the first, he went up high to catch an alley oop from fellow star guard, Ky Bowman, and threw down a monster slam. Robinson’s effort was enough to keep the score close for the first 10 minutes of the game. However, the final 30 minutes were a different story. Syracuse got hot and outscored BC 13 to 3 in just four minutes. Syracuse ended the first half with a 10 point lead.
The Orange continued to take control in the second half, and went on an early 11-0 run, eventually extending their lead to 19. While BC shot well, their defense couldn’t stop Syracuse; they finished the game shooting 60% from the field and 43% from the 3 point line. Syracuse’s length proved to be too much for BC to handle, as the majority of their shots came from inside the paint.
BC struggled to finish in close and relied once again on their 3 point shot. The Eagles shot well from the outside, posting a 47% shooting percentage from deep. Inside the arc, however, they failed to get much offense going.
Syracuse also dominated the battle of the bigs. Their forwards and centers took control, and the Orange ended with a rebounding advantage of 27-20. Boston College Forward Nik Popovic, who had put up double digits in his last three games, was held to only 6 points on 1-4 shooting from the field. BC Small Forward, Steffon Mitchell played only 18 minutes after having to leave the game early with an injury. The freshman forward has averaged 31.9 minutes per game this season.
Boston College and Syracuse play a similar brand of basketball, ranking 1st and 3rd respectively in the nation in least amount of minutes played by the bench. Both teams rely on a pair of star guards: Robinson and Bowman combined for 41 points for BC, and Tyus Battle and Frank Howard put up 42 for Syracuse.
After this game, BC is now 13-8 overall and 3-5 in the ACC. BC will need to improve upon their ACC record if they hope to have any shot at the NCAA tournament.
Boston College looks ahead to another tough challenge, returning home to face a hot Virginia Tech Team (14-6) coming off an upset win over #10 North Carolina.