Despite a heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame, Boston College still had a chance to lock up a first round bye in the ACC tournament when they hosted the Syracuse Orange at Conte Forum. However, despite a historic three-point performance the Eagles were blown out in their last home court appearance of the season.
Before the game even started the Eagles were handicapped as both Hamilton brothers and Nik Popovic were out with injuries.
The game started out favorably for the Eagles as Syracuse struggled shooting the basketball. The Orange went through on an 0-5 and an 0-8 scoreless streaks. Yet the Eagles themselves started out the game 0-6 from the field and could never take full advantage of the Orange’s struggles. A huge part of this was turnovers and terrible free throw shooting; they went nearly sixteen and minutes without a made free-throw attempt. Add on to the turnovers and missed free-throws, Elijah Hughes gave the Eagles more than they could handle in the first half. The self-proclaimed ACC player of the year scored 17 points in just the first half and seemed able to score however and from wherever he wanted. Yet, BC was still able to hang around for a while. The Eagles out-rebounded the Orange 21-17 in the first half. The Eagles were able to wind their way through the Syracuse’s zone and find some good looks but their troubles at the foul line and turnovers held them back from gainning an advantage or just closing the gap. BC found themselves down by 8 at the half. Jay Heath and Julian Rishwain led the way for the Eagles with 6 points each.
Buddy Boeheim came out hot scoring the first 5 points of the half. Yet even as Syracuse was heating up BC shocked everybody coming out in the second half firing from beyond the arc but inside the arc was a different story. Despite shooting 45.2% from three and converting on a school record 19 threes, the Eagles only shot 17% from inside the arc and were 2-10 from the free throw line. Syracuse locked down the paint outscoring BC 28 to 12 with Bourama Sidibe leading the effort inside, nearly finishing the game with a double-double. Nik Popovic’s absence was perhaps most felt in the paint. Halftime did not put an end to the turnovers either. The Eagles finished the game with 18 turnovers. Just like the turnovers Elijah Hughes didn’t go away either. Hughes finished the night with a game high 28 points and seemed to entertain the crowd in Conte far more than the Eagles did. Despite the short range shooting problems if the Eagles had been able to slow down the Orange or just not hand them the ball so often the Eagles could’ve climbed back into the game consider how the deep ball was falling. Derryck Thornton led the Eagles in scoring with 18 points.
The story this game was a the same old tale that BC fans have become accustomed to this season. The Eagles failed to put forth a consistent effort and couldn’t capitalize on the few chances Syracuse gave them. It seems only the Eagles can find a way to lose a game in which they hit 19 three point shots. With this loss, BC will have to beat Florida State in Tallahassee on Saturday to have a chance at retaining that first round bye in the ACC tournament.
Final Score: Syracuse beat Boston College, 84-71.