SU Basketball: Syracuse vs. Boston College

Syracuse men's basketball shuts down Boston College in victory

Orange defense forces 20 BC turnovers in 76-53 win at the Carrier Dome.

On New Year’s Day, Boston College picked apart Syracuse’s 2-3 zone and cruised to a 15-point victory in its ACC opener. When the teams met again on Saturday afternoon, the roles were reversed.

The Orange (11-7, 3-2 ACC) locked down Boston College at the Carrier Dome, forcing 20 turnovers and registering 11 steals. The Eagles (9-9, 2-3 ACC) shot just 39.6 percent from the field and the Orange pulled away early in the second half, coasting to a 76-53 victory. SU has now won three of its last four.

Photo: Cody Hendrix
Andrew White III holds the ball at the top of the key against Boston College inside the Carrier Dome on Jan. 14. Syracuse won the game 76-53.

“I think our defense is getting a little better,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “We didn't have a great offensive game, but we still had a good game and I think our offense can still get better. I think it was a defensive effort today.” 

Boston College scored 96 points in its victory over Syracuse in the teams' first matchup, led by 30 from freshman guard Ky Bowman and 22 from sophomore guard Jerome Robinson. 

But, on Saturday, the Orange kept the pair in check. The two guards combined for just 12 points and hit just two of their 11 3-point attempts. Bowman committed a career-high six turnovers in the game. 

“We just defended better,” Syracuse guard Andrew White III said. “I think we were more active and we did a better job of getting our hands on loose balls. There were a lot of deflections.” 

Boston College’s turnovers allowed the Orange to jump-start its offense. Syracuse turned Eagles’ miscues into multiple easy baskets on the other end of the floor by pushing the pace and scoring in transition. Overall, the Orange totaled 20 points off of turnovers and 10 fast break points. 

Freshman guard Tyus Battle led the Orange offensive attack. Battle was aggressive on dribble-drives to the basket and efficient from behind the 3-point line, knocking down three 3-pointers on six attempts. 

“I thought he was terrific tonight and played well, his best game.” Boeheim said about Battle’s performance. 

Battle finished the contest with a career-high 21 points and has reached double-figures in each of his last three games. 

“[I’ve] just been trying to be more aggressive,” Battle said. “My teammates have been doing an amazing job of finding me for threes. People have been closing out on me, which leads to easier drives.” 

After attempting just two shots in the first half, sophomore Tyler Lydon became a focal point of the Orange offense after halftime. SU fed Lydon the ball on the block and in the high post, leading to 13 points in the period. Lydon totaled 16 points and six rebounds in the contest. 

White and freshman Taurean Thompson also reached double-figures for SU, chipping in 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Syracuse will return to action on Monday against No. 11 North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

“[North Carolina is] probably one of the best teams —[best] three or four teams — in the country when they play their game,” Boeheim said. “They are a fantastic team, a lot of veterans, big guys, veteran guards…They will be a great challenge."

Tip-off on Monday is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Dean E. Smith Center.


The Orange shot 89.5 percent from the free-throw line in the contest, connecting on 17 of its 19 attempts.

Syracuse struggled from behind the arc in the game. SU shot just 25 percent (5-20) from that distance.

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