Syracuse Orange 69 - Boston College Eagles 59
The Syracuse Orange found a way to overcome an 8 point second half deficit to squeeze past a happy-go-lucky Boston College team. Trevor Cooney came up big while C.J. Fair had an off night, and Syracuse improves to 17-0 on the season and 4-0 in ACC play.
A game that should have been Syracuse's easiest match-up of conference play turned into a dogfight, as Boston College hit long three pointer after long three pointer. Boston College had the fans, the referees, and the announcers on their side, but still were only able to scare the Orange until there were 8 minutes remaining in the second half.
Sure, Trevor may be on a small shooting slump, but he has decided that three point shooting will not define him. While only going 2-5 from the three point line, Cooney put up 21 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals in some big spots as he found a way to score all over the court. The first half featured three straight Trevor Cooney #ThugDunks on fast breaks, showing some hops as he threw the ball down. We also saw a couple good drives, a baseline runner, and great defense as Trevor starts putting together a complete skill set.
Jerami Grant had an up-and-down game, as he picked up his 4th foul with 10 minutes left in the game. Boeheim didn't even hesitate to leave him in, as Jerami put up 6 of his 16 points down the stretch, including a few statement slams and an and-one to give SU the lead for good. He also added 8 rebounds, and went 6-6 from the free throw line, as Grant is becoming a huge asset for this team. Grant missed a few big assignments as Boston College found a way to hit every three pointer available, but his physicality and energy pushed the 'Cuse over the edge late.
Tyler Ennis has 0 points, 3 steals, and just 3 assists to end the first half (2 of which were on Cooney's run out dunks). He rebounded with a stronger second half to finish with 12 points, 5 assists, and 6 steals. Ennis hit a couple big three pointers when the Orange trailed, and calmly broke BC's defensive pressure every time. Ennis's big struggle was BC's three point shooting, as he didn't have the height to contest many of the 21 three pointers they attempted.
C.J. Fair had an "off game", as he only had 12 points on 4-13 shooting and 6 rebounds. The reason I'm crediting him with an off game was the fact that he struggled to make his usual impact, and seemed to be disinterested. CJ did have 8 points in the second half, including 6 points when Syracuse was behind, but he wasn't able to get open looks, even against a 6'2" defender. Fair was only credited with 2 turnovers, but they came at very inopportune times.
Baye Keita cannot catch a basketball. I wonder if Orlando Jones has any Stick-Um left. Baye started this game, and clocked a full 54 seconds before he missed an assignment and Boeheim put Jerami in. (It turns out that they didn't even mean to start Keita, the scorekeepers messed up) Rakeem Christmas struggled even worse, and picked up two quick fouls in the second half and hit the bench with 18 minutes left in the game, never to return. Both centers finished with more fouls than rebounds, and only Rak had any offense to speak of with a big first-half slam.
I had to leave enough room for plenty of juice. This game was truly frustrating to watch.
The referees called the most one-sided game I've seen this year. They missed out of bounds calls, traveling calls, and called bad fouls on Syracuse, especially Grant's fourth foul on a clean but powerful block. During time outs, Boeheims would yell at the refs more than he would his own team. If you look up "home job" in the dictionary, this game would be playing.
The announcers, Lophonso Ellis and Mike Patrick, were terrible. Their tenuous grasp of college basketball was only overshadowed by their inability to pronounce names. Terry Cooney. Gerry Cooney. Tyler Cooney. Trevor Ennis. Jerry Grant. Joey MacNamara. But they somehow knew every player on BC's bench, and were very excited when the half-court threes went down. Ugh.
Syracuse lead in rebounds, steals (13-3), and turnovers (16-8), but somehow this game was a nailbiter. For the first time all year, the Orange finished with 0 blocks because they heard a whistle everytime the ball entered the post.
This was a typical trap game, on the road, after an emotional victory over a blue blood, and thankfully it came against BC. Syracuse survives, and looks to face the home half of a home-away with perennial Big East rival Pittsburgh on Saturday, in their most likely threat to disrupt their dream season.
Put this one in the books, and let's never look at it again. Until next time fellow Juicers, Let's! Go! S! U!