Boston College men’s basketball had no answer for Syracuse’s zone defense on Saturday, as turnovers and poor shooting plagued the Eagles all afternoon.
BC (9–16, 4–11 Atlantic Coast) shot just 34.8 percent from the field and committed 15 turnovers as it fell 76–56 on the road against Syracuse (14–12, 8–7 Atlantic Coast).
The Eagles hung around early thanks to a slow shooting start from the Orange, but poor ball security allowed for easy baskets, and Syracuse’s lead grew to double digits after just under 10 minutes of play.
“I think it’s a combination of a very good zone, as well as just not being sound enough,” BC head coach Earl Grant said in his postgame press conference. “There was some mental fatigue there.”
By halftime, the Eagles had connected on just 2 of 15 attempts from beyond the arc. Their sole offensive bright spot was guard DeMarr Langford Jr., who notched 10 points while shooting 80 percent from the field but did not return to the game after sustaining an apparent toe injury in the first half.
BC’s 12 first-half turnovers led to 23 points for the Orange, and Syracuse led 36–21 at the half.
In the second half, the Eagles’ offense showed some signs of life. Senior guard Makai Ashton-Langford hit his first basket of the day with just over 15 minutes to play in the second half, sparking a 10–0 scoring run for BC that cut the Syracuse lead to 12 points. But that was as close as BC would get for the remainder of the game.
“We were so much better in the second half, just attacking the zone and moving the ball,” Grant said. “But we needed to do that for a longer period of time.”
Ashton-Langford and Langford Jr. were no match on offense for Syracuse’s brother duo of Jimmy Boeheim Jr. and Buddy Boeheim. The Boeheim brothers got the best of the matchup, scoring a combined 31 points—more than double the output of the Langford brothers.
Brevin Galloway also struggled from the field with 2-of-15 shooting. He missed 10 3-pointers on 11 attempts. The Eagles converted on five 3-pointers despite matching a season-high 28 attempts.
BC has now lost five straight games heading into the final stretch of regular season play in the ACC.
“We just gotta stay mentally tough,” Grant said. “It’s late February, so all teams are tired, and all teams are banged up. That’s part of college basketball. That’s what we sign up for.”
Featured Image by Ben Schultz / Heights Staff