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Final: Boston College Basketball falls to Syracuse 67-56

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The losing streak is extended to 4 games.

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Over 26,000 people packed into the Carrier Dome this afternoon to watch Tyus Battle & friends take down Ky Bowman & friends by the score of 67-56. Or maybe to watch the Syracuse Orange beat the Boston College Eagles. But the game plan of the two teams was clearly based on the former, as both teams set up to defensively shut down any drives by the other’s star guard. It wouldn’t matter, because Tyus Battle and Ky Bowman both had 21 to lead all scorers anyways.

The storylines for this game started even before tipoff. Just 15 minutes before scheduled tip-off the team announced on Twitter that Bowman would start the game on the bench for an undisclosed team rules violation.

He would check in at the 14:57 mark, down 4-1 with his teammates shooting 0/10 from the field. He promptly broke the dry spell with a layup, and team performance radically improved. The Eagles exploited the center of the Syracuse zone to take a 19-18 lead midway through the half. Nik Popovic and Jared Hamilton seemed comfortable dishing out of the middle of the zone, but the Eagles shooters were unable to get anything going. They finished the half 1/10 from deep.

The Eagles were able to corral 10 offensive rebounds in the first half as well, with Pop and Steffon Mitchell just out hustling the Orange down low. But they managed just 4 second-chance points, all contributing to the lowest scoring half of the season.

The Eagles were probably fortunate to find themselves down just 7 at the midway mark, 31-24, a lead the Orange maintained opening minutes of the second. But that luck was more than paid for. Popovic went down hard fighting for a rebound courtesy took a Paschal Chukwu elbow and had to be taken to the locker room. A minute or two later Mitchell went down with a left leg injury after a drive to the basket. He would eventually return, but to limited effectiveness.

The two’s absence further exacerbated the size advantage Syracuse had coming in. Christian had tried to counter it earlier, which is likely why Vin Baker Jr saw playtime after 7 consecutive games of DNP/CD. He was used primarily as a secondary ball-handler, but two quick fouls and a turnover saw his day ended early.

An 8-0 run by Syracuse with 8 minutes left, courtesy of bad BC turnovers and some fast break points, gave the Orange a 20 point lead. At that point, the Orange had scored up 21 of 60 points off of 15 Eagle giveaways.

They likely could have ended the game right there, but the Eagles refused to die. A 14-0 run, powered by Ky Bowman and Jordan Chatman 3-pointers, cut the lead to 6 with 4 minutes left.

But it was too little, too late. Syracuse managed to stabilize the ship, stop the bleeding, and or whatever other metaphor you’d like to insert here. The buckets stopped going in for BC and soon the Eagles were forced to foul. They pushed the lead back to 11

It was more of the same for the Eagles, who’s story this season continues to be “keep a game competitive but never actually threaten to win it.” Defensive miscues continue to let role-players put up career games (Buddy Boeheim had the 3rd most points in the game at 16), and the Eagles only turn on the jets when the game is more or less over.

It marked the 4th consecutive loss for the Eagles, who fall to 11-11 on the year and 2-8 in conference. If dreams of March weren’t dead before, they sure are now.