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Syracuse Makes Freebies, Gets Out of Pressure With a 'W'

Posted on February 13, 2021 at 4:10 PM

  Article by Dan Tortora

  Junior forward Alan Griffin got Syracuse on the board first just before the first minute of the game ran out, connecting from beyond the arc.

  There would be two lead changes from there before the Orange rolled out to a 10-point lead on three separate occasions. Their largest lead of the half came off of a layup by Griffin that made it 25-13.

  But after Syracuse went ahead 25-15, Boston College responded with an 11-4 run to shrink their deficit to three, 29-26.

  Coming out of the media timeout, Griffin would foul freshman guard DeMarr Langford who would make both of his freebies to get the Eagles within one, down 29-28, at the 7:11 mark of the first half. 

  Senior forward Marek Dolezaj would quick tap the ball to sophomore guard Joe Girard, III, who got a wide open look from deep and connected, followed by Girard getting a steal and finish at the rim. Girard would go inside again shortly after, accounting for nine-straight points by the Orange.

  With 48.7 seconds remaining before the break, and Syracuse up 41-35, Syracuse redshirt-freshman center John Bol Ajak and Boston College sophomore forward CJ Felder seemed to share some words and got close to one another down by the Boston College bench. Officials stopped play as both teams went to their respective sides. Ajak and Felder were given fouls.

  Griffin of the Orange and sophomore guard Jay Heath of the Eagles were given a foul apiece as well.

  Girard's offense aided the Orange out to a 41-35 lead at the half.

  As a team, Syracuse shot 54.8% from the field in the first half (17-for-31), while Boston College made 36.7% of their attempts (11-for-30). Both teams made five shots from long range, witht the Orange going 5-for-8 (62.5%) and the Eagles going 5-for-17 (29.4%).

  Syracuse had 22 points in the paint, compared to Boston College's eight in the opening 20 minutes.

  The Orange out-rebounded the Eagles in the first half 19 to 14.

  Felder and graduate guard Rich Kelly led Boston College with nine each at the break.

  Girard led all players on either side with 16 at the half (7-for-9 overall, including 2-for-3 from deep), with Griffin following him with 10 for Syracuse. 

  The Orange began the second half on a 6-0 run, courtesy of Dolezaj, junior guard Buddy Boeheim, and sophomore forward Quincy Guerrier, respectively, taking a 47-35 lead.

  Griffin would get an earful from 45-year head coach Jim Boeheim and follow by picking up his fourth foul of the game with 16:30 remaining.

  True freshman point guard Kadary Richmond would come in for Griffin and was immediately effective, connecting on a jumper on his first offensive possession of the second half.

  Richmond would spin and elevate in the lane shortly after to give Syracuse a 12-point advantage, 53-41, at the 14:45 mark.

  Boston College would go on a 6-0 second-half run of their own from here, getting to within two possessions, down 53-47, with 12:36 to play.

  Dolezaj would pick up his fourth foul of the contest with 5:36 remaining. Langford would go 1-for-2 at the charity stripe to bring the Eagles' deficit to five, 62-57.

  Guerrier and Dolezaj would combine to go 5-for-6 from the line to move Syracuse back out to a double-digit advantage, 67-57.

  With 2:22 to go, down 67-59, Felder was called for a personal foul and a technical foul.

  Griffin went 2-for-2 on the technical foul freebies, followed by Dolezaj going 2-for-2 himself on his 1-&-1 opportunity, all created by Felder, moving the Orange out to a 71-59 lead.

  Syracuse struggled to break the full-court press by Boston College, followed by Girard turning the ball over twice in a row. Luckily for the Orange, the Eagles came away with only three points from these three turnovers.

  The Orange would make their last 10 free throws, between Guerrier and Dolezaj, to keep the Eagles at bay, winning 75-67.

  This was a lot closer than the last time the Orange met the Eagles this season, where they won by 38, their largest margin of victory against any opponent so far this season, on the road in Massachusetts.

  The victory brings Syracuse to 12-6 overall, and above .500 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) at 6-5.

  Boston College falls to 3-13 overall, and 1-9 in the ACC, with their only conference win coming against the Miami Hurricanes at home, 84-62.

  Kelly led all Eagles with 14, followed by Heath and senior forward Steffon Mitchell with 12 each, and Langford with 10.

  Girard ended atop all scorers with 16 for the Orange, followed by Griffin with 14, Dolezaj and Boeheim with 13 apiece, and Guerrier with 12.

Categories: Syracuse Orange Men's Basketball, Atlantic Coast Conference, NCAA

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