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Men’s Basketball Final: Syracuse 75 - Boston College 67

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On Valentine’s Day Eve there was no Love for the Eagles as they Drop their Fourth Straight

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

In their second matchup of the season against Syracuse, BC faithful certainly had some trepidation in preparing to watch the Eagles take on the Orange. The last time out these two teams faced one another, Syracuse absolutely mopped the floor with the Eagles beating them on the Eagles’ homecourt 101-63 in easily the worst game of BC’s season to date. This time, the matchup took place in upstate New York with the Eagles still not fully equipped with a full roster with Wynston Tabbs and James Karnik still unable to suit up due to COVID protocols. Any English Major could look at the context and setting of this game and be able to explain the meaning of foreshadowing with ease.

The first half of the game played right into the hands of the expected narrative. BC struggled shooting the ball while the Orange came out on fire from three hitting their first five straight. Fortunately, BC was able to clamp down on the perimeter shooting and not allow Syracuse to make another three for the rest of the game. With it being a rather fast paced game in the first, the Eagles were able to awake from a slow shooting start to get in a bit of a momentum to keep cutting into Syracuses’ lead and close at once at 12 point lead down to three. Much of the credit has to be given the CJ Felder and Rich Kelly as both were able to find success beyond the arc early. Felder was also one of the most physical players in the post contesting shots and grabbing loose boards with him finishing the game with 12 rebounds on the day. Nonetheless, the shooting of Syracuse’s Joseph Girard in the first allowed the Orange to hold on to the lead as he was able to contribute 16 of the team’s first half points and give Syracuse a six point edge going into the locker room.

As the second half rolled around, it was a classic “Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill” type situation for the Eagles. Every time the Eagles seemed to be getting some success on the offensive end and close the gap, the Orange always had an answer to give them enough of a cushion to stay in the driver’s seat. the Orange were able to pick apart the Eagle defense by identifying and capitalizing on mismatch opportunities down low and not remain so reliant on the three. For the Eagles, it was another bleak game in the three-point shooting department as they finished 9-31 (29%). The Eagles also failed to win on the glass for second-chance opportunities as ‘Cuse pulled in a total of 29 defense rebounds in the game. Alan Griffin and Quincy Guerrier combined for 14 total defensive rebounds for the Orange. Nonetheless, BC did play with some heart up until the final buzzer trying to force turnovers and drill some heroic threes but they simply just could not capitalize on those opportunities. However, the true event that took the wind of BC’s sails was CJ Felder fouling out with a technical with about two minutes remaining. Felder was, in my eyes, the lifeblood of the team and losing him in the closing minutes proved to be the real nail in the coffin. His absence definitely took away any potential threat the Eagles posed and allowed Syracuse to cruise to the finish line.

With postponements and a fluctuating schedule, BC has now not won a game in over a month. Chalk some of their misfortune to a depleted roster, which is a time of COVID is a justifiable excuse. Nonetheless, BC still showed some fortitude today against a team that absolute dismantled them earlier in the season and made this game a hell of a lot more competitive even with a short bench. For that, I will classify this one as an “admirable loss” to an already forgettable season.

Barring anymore COVID postponements, the Eagles will travel to Georgia Tech on Wednesday for a scheduled noon tip-off.