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Syracuse men’s basketball: Orange beat Boston College 79-65

Orange close out 2022 on a positive note

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange returned after an 11-day layoff and closed out 2022 with a 79-65win over the Boston College Eagles.

Joe Girard led the way with 24 points on 8-19 shooting (4-10 from 3). Benny Williams emerged from the first-half doghouse to contribute 16 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks. His energy and effort helped Syracuse overcome foul trouble as they avoid what would have been a devastating loss.

Judah Mintz had a “quiet” 18 and 7 while Jesse Edwards added 10 points and 8 rebounds despite being on the bench for most of the second half.

Once again Syracuse started off slow and found themselves down 13-8 at the under-12 timeout. Jim Boeheim went deep into his bench as nine players saw action in the first half. Girard got hot and scored 8 of his 13 first-half points in a two-minute stretch as Syracuse reclaimed the lead.

Benny Williams went on his own scoring spurt to close the half as he added seven points late to put the Orange up 36-27 at the break. Syracuse broke their iso-ball habit in the last ten minute of the half as they had 9 assists on 14 field goals.

Early in the second half, Jesse Edwards picked up his third and fourth fouls and went to the bench. BC closed to 40-35 before Syracuse responded with a 6-1 run, but then the Orange went cold on offense and BC cut it to 46-43 behind the scoring of Prince Aligbe.

Mintz came out with a lazy 10-second call and BC responded with 5 straight to take the lead and the crowd was anxious. A second Benny Williams from 3 put Syracuse up 49-48 at the next tv timeout.

It was Syracuse’s turn to make a run as Justin Taylor hit a 3, Mintz got a breakaway dunk off a Hima block, Benny Williams hit another jumper and Girard found Taylor for another 3 that put the Orange up 59-55 at the under-8.

The Orange put together a strong 4-minute stretch led by Williams’ efforts and they stretched the lead to 69-61 at the final tv break. Syracuse handled the BC pressure down the stretch and moves to 9-5 and 2-1 in ACC play with a trip to bottom-feeder Louisville on Tuesday night.