Syracuse holds Boston College to 13 1st-half points in 76-50 win

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 15, 2020 at 8:30 pm Contact Nick: [email protected] | @nick_a_alvarez The Syracuse locker room buzzed postgame. Juli Boeheim filtered through and chatted with players. They didn’t sulk in lockers, as they had the previous two home losses — both less than five points. Smiles flashed. Elijah Hughes joked with a reporter after Hughes spilled M&M’s on the floor.SU paired a dominant first half against Boston College with a competent second. “Our confidence is higher. We’re feeling good,” Hughes said after picking chocolate from the carpet.On Wednesday night in the Carrier Dome, Syracuse (10-7, 3-3 Atlantic Coast) eviscerated Boston College (9-8, 3-3), 76-50. The Orange took care of a bad Eagles team and did it quickly. BC missed its first 18 3s. SU posted above-averages in paint production (36 points), fast-break points (24) and bench scoring (11). Top-scorer Buddy Boeheim (22 points) outscored Boston College’s first-half total (13). And a 23-5 run over seven minutes in the first half removed all doubt. Four nights after its biggest win of the year, SU completed its easiest.“We got our position and as the half went on they got some shots but they couldn’t make any,” head coach Jim Boeheim said. “We were able to get our offense going and I think that was the difference.”Despite regaining leading-scorer Derryck Thornton (13.3 points), the Eagles didn’t record a field goal in the first eight minutes, only tallying a free throw. Their movement was scarce, and the zone pressed higher. The 2-3 worked to perfection, suffocating a bad offensive team and forcing them into deep 3-pointers. BC’s only open look in the first five minutes was when SU crashed on a driver and he kicked it out. Even then, the shot clock expired.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn their last 11 games in the Dome, BC averaged seven 3s a game, posting a 35% shooting percentage. They finished six-for-30 on Wednesday.There were a few early sequences when BC cracked the zone, but a misfired pass or early dribble pick-up wasted chances. Boston College, a year removed from Ky Bowman scoring 21 against SU, lacked any playmaker to break down the zone, let alone shoot out of it. Steffon Mitchell’s first bucket came from a jumper on the elbow, but BC was constantly denied the ball in the high post. Constant traps on the wing opposite the Orange bench helped force 11 turnovers.  Howard Washington said a pregame scouting report compiled by associate head coach Adrian Autry showcased how BC liked to work inside-out. By cutting off the high post, the Eagles were hapless.“We knew all their sets,” Washington said. “We basically knew who they were going to go to.… We worked on their offense for two days and it paid off tonight.”Even with Hughes missing a chunk of the first half after injuring his midsection when driving and falling, Buddy and Joe Girard III combined for 16 of SU’s first 18 points. BC switched on most defensive possessions, but the Orange rarely turned inside in the half court. Instead, SU posted 24 fast-break points, a reprieve from earlier transition issues in conference play.Buddy scored seven-straight in the first half, his last two makes coming on lay-ins over smaller defenders. Syracuse had a height-advantage with BC center Nik Popovic’s back injury sidelined, and it exploited that in the fast break where Boston College wasn’t able to find assignments.When Hughes returned, scoring all of his points post-injury, the deficit ballooned. He received an outlet pass, nearly tripped over himself and converted a floater. After a turnover by Mitchell near half court, Hughes threw down a one-handed dunk for a 20-point lead. Meanwhile, Mitchell stumbled over himself getting up and slipped back to the hardwood.By halftime, a 38-13 in SU’s favor, the Eagles had more turnovers (seven) than field goals (five). The margin would hover around 25 points in the second half.“We forced them off the line a bit, we moved,” Washington said. “We were on every rotation.”SU kept attacking inside and filled the highlight reel. A one-handed alley-oop from Hughes to Quincy Guerrier. A drop-step block by Marek Dolezaj. All kept the crowd engaged for a while. But in the final four minutes, they filed out in masses.NCAA Tournament hopes weren’t boosted by the Orange beating an Eagles team ranked in the bottom-third of the country in nearly every offensive category. Instead, they were inched forward. But for one night, SU could deploy the walk-ons and watch as it climbed into the top-half of the conference standings.“It was a combination of us playing good and them missing in the first half,” Boeheim said. “… First half is obviously an aberration, but we’re happy to get that.” Commentslast_img

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