In a game featuring two of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s best backcourts, Syracuse’s frontcourt proved to be the difference as the Orange toppled the Eagles 81-63 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.
Syracuse center Paschal Chukwu (14 points) and forwards Oshae Brissett (13) and Marek Dolezaj (12) combined for 39 points as the Orange’s frontcourt outscored the Eagles’ frontcourt 39-22 and outrebounded them 23-11.
The guard matchup was just about even: Syracuse’s Tyus Battle (24) and Frank Howard (18) combined for 42 points, while Boston College’s Jerome Robinson (21) and Ky Bowman (20) went for 41.
Syracuse (14-6, 3-4 in the ACC) won its second consecutive game after a four-game losing streak, while the Eagles (13-8, 3-5) fell to 5-17 at the Carrier Dome.
After Chatman opened the second half with a 3-pointer to pull the Eagles within seven points, the Orange went on a 13-2 run sparked by backup forward Dolezaj, who scored six points in the spurt. Dolezaj, who entered the game averaging 3.7 points per outing, capped the run with a jumper that extended the Orange’s advantage to 60-42.
Led by Robinson’s drives and Bowman’s treys, the Eagles outscored Syracuse 11-5 to cut their deficit to 67-55. But Chukwu made a pair of free throws after a lane violation nullified a miss on a one-and-one opportunity, and Battle sank a 3-pointer to boost Syracuse’s lead back to 72-55.
The Eagles connected on their first five shots, including four 3-pointers, to grab a 14-7 lead. But they made only seven of their remaining 20 shots in the first half as the Orange outscored Boston College 40-23 after falling behind 14-7.
Howard (16) and Brissett (12) combined for 28 points as Syracuse shot 64.3 percent from the floor (18-for-28) and 55.6 percent from beyond the arc (5-for-9) in the first half. The Orange led 47-37 at the break - the most points Syracuse has scored in the first half all season.
Syracuse starting forward Matthew Moyer sprained his left ankle about five minutes into the game and did not return. Boston College starting forward Steffon Mitchell left the game midway through the first half after suffering an undisclosed injury and remained out for the rest of the contest.
Neither Syracuse nor Boston College can afford serious injuries as both have struggled with depth. Among 351 Division I teams, the Orange and Eagles rank 349th and 350th, respectively, in terms of bench minutes.
--Field Level Media