Syracuse aims to snap three-game losing streak against Boston College
Following a 67-62 loss to No. 6 Virginia on Monday, Syracuse men’s basketball (13-10, 6-6 ACC) aims to get back on track against Boston College (11-12, 5-7 ACC). The Orange, which have dropped three straight games, enter Saturday having won their last nine against the Eagles.
Boston College, meanwhile, has emerged victorious in three of its last four games, most recently downing No. 20 Clemson 62-54. The Eagles have outscored opponents in their last trio of wins by an average of 10 points.
“As you move into February and March, you want to see your team get better,” BC head coach Earl Grant said after Tuesday’s win against Clemson. “I think from practice they’ve been improving.”
In the two squads’ first head-to-head matchup of the season, SU ousted BC 79-65 inside the JMA Wireless Dome. The ‘Cuse received double-digit performances from four different players – forward Benny Williams (16 points), center Jesse Edwards (10), guard Judah Mintz (18) and guard Joe Girard III (24). Williams, whose 16 points against BC were a personal high in ACC play, missed Monday’s game against Virginia.
“Benny took a personal day,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said regarding Williams. “ He’ll be back at practice on Wednesday.”
Aside from getting Williams back, Syracuse will need to eliminate Monday’s struggles on both three-point and foul shooting to muster a win against BC. The Orange went 3-for-15 (20%) from behind the arc and 11-of-18 (61.1%) at the line against UVA. Conversely, Virginia knocked down nine triples against the ‘Cuse’s defense.
“You’re not going to beat Virginia if you go 3-for-15 from three,” Boeheim said. “The missed free throws hurt us too.”
SU’s loss to UVA marked its seventh single-digit defeat of the season. The Orange have been outscored in the final minute of their last five games by a total of 14-6. Meanwhile, Boston College boasts a record of 7-4 in games decided by nine points or less.
BC is led by guard Makai Ashton-Langford. The senior, who scored a team-high 14 points against the ‘Cuse in their last matchup, leads his squad in both total points (257) and blocks (14) on the season.
Among the other stars for the Eagles is forward Quinten Post. Also a senior, his first game this season came against Syracuse due to foot problems earlier in the year. The Netherlands native tallied eight points against the Orange, a total that currently stands as his season low. Post on average has scored 16.2 points in his nine games this season.
“We wanted to get him in the game and get him going and let them find some rhythm,” Grant said of Post after the first BC-SU matchup. “I thought he did a good job. He said he felt great. But it’s really hard when you’ve been out since October.”
After missing yet another opportunity to earn its first quad 1 victory, Syracuse will likely need to win out through the rest of its schedule or win the ACC tournament in order to secure an NCAA Tournament berth. The last time the Orange missed the big dance in back-to-back seasons was in 2007 and 2008.
Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. WAER’s coverage begins at 4:30 with McClurg Team Countdown to Tipoff