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Orange Eagle Trophy Update: Syracuse & BC Remain Neck and Neck

Syracuse uses a blowout and a near "blow-up" to inch ahead of Boston College in the Orange Eagle race, 42-39.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Following Boston College's dominating win over the hapless SU football team, BC went into the holidays with a narrow six point Orange Eagle Trophy lead.  The 12 points earned by The Eagle football team in Chestnut Hill were crucial to their Orange Eagle chances, as 18 of the first 24 points of 2015 were to be contested on the hardwood, where SU's strong men's and women's basketball teams were favored.

The past three days saw SU and BC match up for the first two of four basketball contests in January and February, and sure enough, Syracuse came away with nine points and a slim three-point OET lead off the back of a dominating performance by the SU women, and a dominating performance near historic choke by the SU men.  Let's recap the action from Conte and The Carrier Dome.

January 18 - Women's Basketball (3 Points) - Syracuse 64, Boston College 46

With most of New England glued to happenings in Foxborough, Syracuse and Boston College faced off for the first time in 2015 with BC hosting The Orange at Conte Forum.  Syracuse entered the game without star player Brittany Sykes, and subsequently struggled to get into their offensive flow.  Solid defending by BC held SU to their weakest first-half output of the season, and the teams went into the half with SU holding a slim 24-22 lead.

With an upset on the cards, SU stepped up their tempo, and started the second half with a 9-2 run that broke open the tight affair.  Gradually, The Orange added to their lead, and never allowed BC to get close.  Taylor Ford led The Orange with 15 points off the bench, while Emilee Daley and Ashley Kelsick led the Eagles with 11 points each.

January 20 - Men's Basketball (6 Points) - Syracuse 69, Boston College 61

Has any team in the history of ever "squeaked-out" a blowout win?  Bizarre History was almost made in the Carrier Dome Tuesday night as the SU basketball team nearly squandered an eighteen point halftime lead against The Eagles in what could be classified as the most painful "minute" in the storied history of Syracuse Orange basketball.

Things started out well for BC, with The Eagles jumping out to a 12-4 lead by hitting four three-pointers in their first seven possessions.  Yet with the specter of another major upset in The Carrier Dome looming, Syracuse clamped down on defense and used the hot shooting of Michael Gbinije to rattle off an dominating 31-5 run to finish off the first half, leaving most in attendance safe in assuming that The Orange would walk away with the victory and six more Orange Eagle points.

Yet one thing is safe to assume when talking about Syracuse basketball...that NOTHING IS SAFE TO ASSUME!!!  Indeed, with star Center Rakeem Christmas in foul trouble, The Orange couldn't extend their lead.  Instead, BC closed the margin of deficit slightly through Aaron Brown and Oliver Hanlan, and then with a minute to play and the game seemingly out of reach, BC and SU entered a free throw shooting contest where the Orange proceeded to miss Every. Single. Free throw.  With many Orange fans reaching for their ACE inhibitors after what seemed like 20 minutes of classic #goacc spectacle, SU Guard Kaleb Joseph finally put down a pair of free throws and put away the game for good.

With nine points earned, Syracuse regains a slim 42-39 OET lead.  Next up for the two schools is a rematch of the men's basketball game on February 11th at Conte Forum, followed by Tennis and Women's basketball.  make sure to stay close to TNIAAM and BC Interruption for all the Orange Eagle Updates as we approach to conclusion of the 2014-2015 competition.