Coming off a late game blitzing at the hands of the Cavaliers of Virginia, BC returned home for a 2 game home stint in Conte Forum. The stretch started against the Syracuse Orange who sat at the middle of the ACC with a conference record of 6-6.
BC won the opening tip but only managed a shot clock violation on their first offensive possession. It was a sign of things to come. Despite stopping the Orange on multiple possessions BC struggled to score, as Syracuse’s defense made it very difficult for the Eagles to get the ball inside. Eagles did not score until 16:20 when TJ Bickerstaff hit 1 of his 2 free throws. Aside from the lone foul shot the Eagles were ice cold from the floor; short, mid, or long range the Eagles couldn’t get the ball to fall. That being said BC’s defense did its job and at the first media timeout with 14:55 to go in the half the Eagles were only down 1 to 4. It took till 14:05 for the Eagles to get their first field in the form of a Quinten Post layup. With 11:42 left to go in the half the Eagles were still only trailing by 4 (7 to 11) but the Eagles were only shooting 18% from the floor. Syracuse was simply giving the Eagles no room inside the paint forcing BC to rely on perimeter shooting, which has not been the team’s strong suit. Even when the Eagles got open threes they just couldn’t convert. Two Syracuse threes with 8:13 left to go in the half extend Cuse’s lead to 10. Two quick buckets from Quinten Post and Jaeden Zackery cut the lead back down to single digits. Yet Syracuse went on a 11-5 run with 5:41 left in the half to extend their lead to 12 (20 to 32). The Eagles defense continued to give it all they had even hold Syracuse scoreless for 2:38 at the end of the first half. Yet, the Eagles’ offense failed to capitalize and entered half-time down by 10, 24 to 34. Quinten Post lead the team in scoring with 10 points and seemed to be the only player able to score with any kind of regularity. Even then he, like the rest of the Eagles, was having to fight through two or 3 orange jerseys for almost every basket. The Eagles desperately needed someone to catch fire to have any hope of coming back.
The second half opened with back and forth action but without the Eagles closing any ground, despite a three from Makai Ashton Langford and a 3rd Alley-op from DeMarr Langford Jr. With 15:36 to go in the half the Eagles faced a 13 point deficit, 33 to 46, and while their shooting improved and they even started to score in the paint, they had a harder time containing Syracuse. Buddy Boeheim and Cole Swider led the charge for Orange, and the team always seemed to have a three waiting for whenever the Eagles tried to get some momentum going. With 11:46 left to go in the half the Eagles found themselves trailing 38 to 50 after making only 1 of their last 7 shots, this after holding Syracuse scoreless for 2:07. With 9:29 left in the half, Syracuse had a 15 point lead. For the Eagles baskets simply were not coming consistently enough and the defense was starting to crack. The Eagles kept fighting though, cutting the lead to 10 with 4:54 left in the game. With 3:58 left in the game a Quinten Post dunk cut the lead to 8. They cut Syracuse lead to 7 before Joseph Girard III hit a three to re-extend the lead to 10 with 2:07 to go and that was the back-breaker for the Eagles. The Eagles clawed their way back to within 7 points but there simply wasn’t enough time left to mount the comeback. The Final Score saw BC fall 64 to 73.
Jaeden Zackery, who had a very strong second half, ended the game as BC’s leading scorer with 18, while Cole Swider led the Orange with 21 points.
BC played much better in the second half but the story was still mostly the same as the first half, BC could not shoot the ball well enough to stretch the Syracuse defense out and they could not find a way to crack the Orange’s interior defense. The Eagles defense did its best and the team even almost mounted a late comeback but it wasn’t enough to overcome their poor shooting.
Eagles will need to re-group quickly as they welcome Duke into Conte Forum this coming Saturday at 5 pm.