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Syracuse women’s basketball suffers 95-71 setback at Boston College

The Orange have some problems to work out on the defensive end.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team lost its second straight game on Thursday night, falling 95-71 at Boston College.

It was only Syracuse’s second loss to BC since they joined the ACC in the 2013-14 season. Acting head coach Vonn Read had to deal with a short bench for the second consecutive outing.

The Orange had regular starters Alaysia Styles and Naje Murray back in the lineup but still only employed a six-player rotation. Alaina Rice was the only reserve to see significant action.

Syracuse’s depth was put to the test right away, as Styles picked up two early fouls. With her on the bench, the Eagles began pounding the ball into the paint, scoring 14 points down low in the first quarter alone. BC led 25-18 after the opening stanza.

Boston College’s offense continued to percolate as Syracuse sputtered in the second quarter. The Eagles played inside-out, getting the ball into the paint and kicking it out to open shooters. BC hit three triples in a row to stretch the lead to 34-22 with 7:30 left in the first half. Over a 12-minute stretch, the Eagles made 15 of 19 attempts from the field.

The Orange could only come as close as 41-29 for the rest of the game. Syracuse only shot four-of-20 from the floor in the second quarter, which was not even close to what it needed to keep pace with BC. The Eagles took a 49-33 into the halftime break.

Boston College got whatever it wanted on the offensive end. The Eagles shot 61 percent in the first half. The Orange could only muster a 28 percent clip in the first 20 minutes.

Syracuse fans saw Miami make a 16-point comeback on the men’s side last night, but the Syracuse women could not flip the script. BC jumped out a 13-2 run out of the locker room to extend its advantage to 62-35. The Orange did not seriously threaten from there, only coming as close as 18 the rest of the way.

The Eagles closed the third quarter on a 9-2 run and led 75-50 with 10 minutes left to play.

Syracuse shot just 33 percent from the floor and seven-of-25 from three-point range. The Orange forced 24 turnovers, scoring 21 points off those mistakes.

Rice and Teisha Hyman each had 17 points to pace the Orange (8-6, 1-3). Christianna Carr had 11, as did Murray, but she shot an inefficient three-of-17 from the field.

Once again, they struggled to find answers against a bigger team. The Eagles finished the game at 58 percent from the floor and hit 11-of-22 from long range. They put up 50 points in the paint and outrebounded the Orange 51-35.

Maria Gakdeng had a game-high 21 on nine-of-12 shooting for the Eagles. Marnelle Garraud added 17, and Makayla Dickens finished with 15.

The resounding loss shows Syracuse is already up against it in ACC play. The Orange have given up an average of 86 points over the last two games. Styles will have to stay out of foul trouble to give Syracuse a shot at defending the paint. It is going to be an uphill battle, especially as they get into the heart of the conference schedule.

Syracuse will host No. 17 Duke on Jan. 9 before heading to No. 3 Louisville next Thursday. Tip-off with the Blue Devils is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday.