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Boston College Men’s Basketball Team Triumphs Over Syracuse, 80-75

Claudell Harris was a man possessed in the second half

NCAA Basketball: Brooklyn Showcase-St. John at Boston College Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston College men’s basketball team earned some sweet revenge over the Syracuse Orange on Tuesday night, beating them by a final score of 80-75. Claudell Harris came up clutch in the second half and finished with 19 points and shot 5-9 from beyond the arc. Devin McGlockton and Jaeden Zackery also scored 15 apiece to help the Eagles win their second game in a row. BC felt in control for much of this game, despite star big man, Quinten Post, scoring just seven points and turning the ball over seven times, although he did have 12 boards and three assists.

Jaeden Zackery scored the game’s first points on a jumper, but neither team shot the ball well to start the game. Syracuse missed its first six shots and the Eagles missed three of their first four and turned the ball over three times in the first five minutes. At the first break in the action, with 15:20 left in the half, BC led by a score of just 4-2.

Syracuse tied the game at 7-7 on a three-pointer by Maliq Brown, but Post made his second bucket of the game after backing down a Syracuse player in the post. A few minutes later, the Orange took their first lead of the game on a wide-open corner three by JJ Starling.

Coming out of a timeout, Syracuse threw down a dunk to extend their lead to 14-9, but BC finally ended the Orange’s 7-0 scoring run with a jumper by Prince Aligbe. But BC’s offense continued to struggle over the next few minutes, and Syracuse went on another run. Earl Grant finally called a timeout with 8:49 remaining and the Orange leading 20-11, in an attempt to refocus his team.

Donald Hand hit a three off an assist from Zackery and on BC’s next possession, Claudell Harris made a three of his own to bring the Eagles within four: 21-17. The teams traded buckets over the next few minutes, and BC got nice buckets from Harriis and Post, but Syracuse matched the Eagles step for step. But after Mason Madsen cut the deficit back to four points by lacing a three, Devin McGlockton scored his first points of the game on a dunk. With 3:21 left in the half, BC only trailed by two points: 30-28.

After a defensive rebound by BC, Chas Kelly connected on a three-pointer to fall and Madsen made two free throws to give BC their first lead since the 13-minute mark. McGlockton extended the Eagles’ scoring run to 14-0 after two free throws and a layup with just over a minute left in the half. BC entered halftime leading 37-30 and Syracuse didn’t score in the final 4:24 of the half.

Despite holding the lead, the Eagles turned the ball over 11 times compared to the Orange’s six. However, BC shot 58.3% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc, while Syracuse had just a 37.5% field goal percentage. The Eagles also outrebounded the Orange 19-13 and looked to be in a good place heading into the second half.

Jaeden Zackery scored on a jumper, Kelly got a layup to fall, and then Zackery hit a three-pointer to put BC up 14 points and force the Orange to call a timeout less than two minutes into the second period. Both teams settled in after that, but with just over 15 minutes left in the game, BC still led 49-37.

But over the next few minutes, BC only scored once, which let Syracuse take back some momentum and cut into the Eagles’ lead. Maliq Brown made a reverse layup that delighted the Syracuse fans in attendance and made the score 51-45. Aligbe threw down an emphatic dunk on BC’s next possession to quiet the rival fans, and BC went up by eight points.

But BC’s defense faltered and they let the Orange cut the lead to just four points to 11:09 left in the half. Syracuse’s leading scorer, Maliq Brown made his seventh shot of the game with 9:52 to make the score 55-53, Boston College.

A free throw from Aligbe and a three from Claudell Harris put the Eagles back up six with less than eight minutes to go, and just one possession later, Harris hit another three, giving the Eagles a 62-53 lead. Harris made another layup and three-pointer to put BC up 67-55 with 5:42 left in the game. Less than two minutes later, Harris hit yet another three, his fifth of the game, and extended BC’s lead to 13 points.

With just over a minute left, Syracuse drew within six points after a three-pointer by Benny Williams. After a few minutes of tomfoolery, during which Syracuse cut the deficit to five points, the game finally ended, with a final score of 80-75.

The win moves Boston College’s record to 13-8 overall and 4-6 in ACC play. They’ll look to extend their win streak to three games when they play Florida State on Tuesday, February 6th.