Syracuse 14-6 (3-4) picked up a dominant 81-63 win over Boston College 13-8 (3-5) on Wednesday night. The Orange turned in an impressive offensive performance shooting a season best 60.4% from the field led by Tyus Battle’s (pictured below) 24 points on 9-14 shooting.Embed from Getty Images
Why Syracuse won
Syracuse shot lights out throughout the game finishing 29-48 (60.4%) from the field and 7-16 (43.8%) from three point range. Strong play from the “Big 3” of Battle, Frank Howard and Oshae Brissett was critical but it was the outstanding play from Marek Dolezaj and Paschal Chukwu that made Syracuse a scary team tonight. Dolezaj drove aggressively to the basket for a couple buckets and hit a nice mid-range jumper that Syracuse fans aren’t used to seeing from him. Chukwu dropped 14 points and had 2 big blocks in the first half.
The Orange zone played well as it turned Boston College over 16 times. The zone got off to a bad start the first 4 minutes of the game as Boston College found open shooters for some easy three pointers but Syracuse tightened the defense and made life more difficult for the Eagles the rest of the game.
Boston College started the game 4-4 from three point range in the first 4 minutes to take an early 14-7 lead. Jordan Chatman (pictured below) hit 2 open three pointers for the Eagles as the Syracuse zone struggled early. Boeheim called a timeout early in the game after Moyer gave up an easy three point look to Ky Bowman.Embed from Getty Images
The zone eventually started playing well as Chukwu held down the back line defensively and blocked Boston College big man Nik Popovic twice in the early stages of the game. Syracuse held the Eagles to 3-11 three point shooting the rest of the half after their hot 4-4 start.
In sad news Matthew Moyer (pictured below) went down to the ground after a rebound around the 15 minute mark of the first half. He headed to the locker room and didn’t come back out the rest of the half. It was announced at halftime that he would miss the rest of the game with a left ankle sprain. Moyer’s injury forced the lineup of Battle, Howard, Brissett, Chukwu and Dolezaj to the play rest of the game until Howard Washington entered the game during garbage time.
Boeheim said “(Moyer) could be out for a while” in his post-game press conference.
Brissett started the first half offensive scoring burst for the Orange. He made 2 two point buckets and 2 three pointers in the span of three minutes to give Syracuse a 24-20 lead with 9:49 left in the half. Brissett displayed some impressive offensive moves. Of note, he showed off a nice step back three pointer.
Howard picked up the scoring from Brissett and quickly rattled off 10 points of his own to extend the Syracuse lead to 37-25 with under 5 to play. Howard looked confident all night as he consistently below by Boston College defenders throughout the night.
The Orange took a 47-37 lead into halftime. Brissett finished the half with 12 points on 4-7 shooting and Howard went into the locker room with 16 points on 6-10 shooting.
Dolezaj showed off an offensive repertoire most Orange fans didn’t know existed as he aggressively drove to the basket for two early scores to start the second half. He displayed really nice touch on his second basket when he went up and under his defender and finished off the glass. Dolezaj put in his best ACC performance with 12 points on 4-4 shooting, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists.
The Orange defense continued its strong play in the second half when it forced the Eagles into their second shot clock violation of the game.
After combining for 28 points in the first half, Brissett and Howard only recorded 3 combined points in the second half. Battle picked up the slack and scored 13 second half points showing off his three point touch, fade away jump shot and driving ability.
Chukwu also looked like he belonged on the floor tonight. At times he can get pushed around and look lost out there but he converted a successful pick and roll, was active on the boards and finished 6-7 from the floor with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Jim Boeheim Press Conference
Syracuse travels to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers at 4:00pm on Saturday. The game is on the ACC Network and WatchESPN. Pittsburgh is 8-12 (0-7) this year and the Orange cruised for a 59-45 win over them last Tuesday at the Dome.
Syracuse is on a two game winning streak with a very winnable game against Pittsburgh on Saturday and another winnable game at Georgia Tech on January 31. Georgia Tech and Syracuse are currently tied at 3-4 in the ACC.
If the Orange keep playing well we could be looking at a 16-6 (5-4) team next Wednesday night.
**cover photo courtesy of Zimbio.com**