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Syracuse women’s basketball: what to watch for versus Boston College

It’s time to avenge the men’s team in Chestnut Hill.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Syracuse at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

With a touch stretch and back-to-back losses behind them, the #21 Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (17-4, 7-3) is hoping to return back to the win column on Sunday afternoon against the Boston College Eagles (11-12, 3-7).

Coming off an 81-69 road loss to #16 Louisville, the Orange are looking to avoid three straight losses which would be a first for the team all season. Syracuse is still looking solid as a projected six-seed in ESPN’s latest bracketology update, but these are the sorts of games that can pad the overall record but be somewhat damaging if it ends up in a loss.

Boston College enters the game on a four-game winning streak with its only ACC wins against Miami, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest. Last season, the Eagles finished 16-17 overall and 5-13 against the ACC.

Tip-off between Syracuse and Boston College is at 12 p.m. EST. The game will also be available for stream on the ACC Network.

Here’s what to watch for:

  1. Solve the offensive lulls: Syracuse still ranks 21st in scoring offense in the country, but there have been some clear stretches where the shots aren’t falling and things get cold. It’s been a trend that has plagued the Orange in back-to-back games, but it’s popped up at times before. Something has to change, whether it’s forcing things more at the rim or changing the pace to get out of a shooting slump.
  2. Help from the forwards: Dyaisha Fair has obviously continued her great play on offense as the ACC schedule has ramped up, but most of the forward rotation hasn’t necessarily done the same. Georgia Woolley and Alaina Rice have each had their moments too (even if it has been inefficient at times), but someone in the forward rotation has to score a bit more whether it be on the perimeter or around the basket. Main players to keep an eye on include Alyssa Latham, Sophie Burrows, Kyra Wood and Saniaa Wilson.
  3. Protect the ball: Boston College ranks pretty poorly in most of the stat sheet in comparison to the rest of the ACC, but the Eagles are similar to the Orange in that they love to force turnovers. BC actually ranks first in the ACC in opponent turnovers per game (21.6), and taking care of the ball on offense has been a recent struggle for Syracuse against good defenses. Earlier this season versus BC, Syracuse turned the ball over 25 times (both teams combined for 46 turnovers) and only outscored the Eagles in transition by one point (24-23).

#21 Syracuse versus Boston College preview by the numbers

All-time: Syracuse is 38-26 all-time versus Boston College dating back to the 1982-1983 season, but the Orange are 18-3 versus BC since joining the ACC (with only one of those being a road loss. Syracuse has won its last three matchups versus the Eagles.

Last matchup: It wasn’t a pretty fun, the Orange earlier this season did beat Boston College at home 71-64.

Win/loss implications: A win would give Syracuse another sweep over an ACC opponent (second-straight versus BC) and move the Orange to a 5-3 record on the road, while a loss would be the Orange’s worst of the season up to this point and would extend the team’s losing streak to a season-high three games.

#21 Syracuse vs. Boston College Team Stats

Statistical Categories Syracuse Boston College
Statistical Categories Syracuse Boston College
PPG 77.2 72
Opponent PPG 65.5 68.8
Margin of Victory plus-12.2 plus-3.2
FG% 43% 433%
Defensive FG% 40% 46%
3FG% 33% 27%
Defensive 3FG% 31% 34%
FT% 72% 67%
RPG 43.2 35.2
APG 13.3 14.6
T/O 14.9 15.7
A/T ratio 0.9 0.9
SPG 9.7 12.2
BPG 4.7 2.8