Men's Basketball, Basketball, Sports

Post’s Return Not Enough As Eagles Fall To Syracuse 79–65

Due to a foot injury he sustained before the official season began, Quinten Post—Boston College men’s basketball’s 7-foot center—had not played in a game since the Eagles’ preseason scrimmage against Harvard in October until Saturday’s game against Syracuse.

Ahead of Saturday, Post hadn’t played an official game since March 10, 2022, when BC faced Miami in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. Post was selected for the All-Tournament Second Team, averaging 14 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game during BC’s threegame run in the tournament. 

But his foot injury was no more come Saturday afternoon, as BC (7–7, 1–2 Atlantic Coast) took on, and ultimately fell to, the Orange (9–5, 2–1) 79–65 in its last game of 2022. 

Post’s return became official when he checked into the contest at the 11:50 mark in the first half. 

“I’m happy to have him back,” BC head coach Earl Grant said. 

In the opening minutes of his return, Post looked about as rusty as any player would be if they hadn’t played in months. But his presence was clear, and his impact became evident when he comfortably notched his first points of the season less than a minute after he checked in. Shortly after, Post tallied a smooth assist to Mason Madsen. 

“We wanted to get him in the game and get him going and let them find some rhythm,” Grant said. “I thought he did a good job. He said he felt great. But it’s really hard when you’ve been out since October.” 

Post’s contributions, however, were not enough to lift the Eagles over the Orange, as Syracuse shot 50 percent from behind the arc while pouring in 43 second-half points. 

“They had 21 points off our [16] turnovers,” Grant said. “We were guarding well in the half court, but I think them getting some easy baskets allowed them to get, you know, some rhythm.” 

Down 40–30 two minutes into the second half, BC looked lost and helpless. But a Prince Aligbe 3-pointer kickstarted a 12–0 run, igniting the Eagles’ offense. Devin McGlockton capped off the run with a 3-pointer of his own—just his fourth triple of the season—and BC had effectively swung the momentum in JMA Wireless Dome to its side with a 48–46 lead. 

Syracuse, however, was saved by some unlikely heroes. Justin Taylor knocked down two 3-pointers off the bench, and Benny Williams connected on two 3-pointers, one being uncontested. Williams took a handful of uncontested shots all night, as BC’s defensive scheme pointed toward leaving Williams—who shot 9.1 percent from behind the arc last season—wide open. 

“Taylor, you know, kind of a rotation guy, made two threes,” Grant said. “After that. Benny Williams, you know, guy who hadn’t shot it well during the year, he made it three. So we weren’t able to clamp down and continue to get the stops.” 

Taylor’s second 3-pointer put the Orange ahead 59–53 with 9:06 left in the game. 

“But some of that, you gotta give them credit,” Grant said of Taylor and Williams. “They made a couple of tough shots.”

Joseph Girard III, Syracuse’s leading scorer with 24 total points, knocked down a 3-pointer to extend Syracuse’s lead to 10 with 6:06 left to play. 

Still down 10 with five minutes remaining, Grant decided to sub out his own leading scorer, Makai Ashton-Langford—who finished with 14 points—for Madsen, who has not hit a 3-pointer since Dec. 10 against Villanova, and finished the game with just two points. 

And with Post back, Grant’s usual rotations were disrupted, something Grant admitted is still a work in progress.

“It was a little difficult today, trying to get them guys in the game and trying to find a lineup that had good rhythm,” Grant said of his 10-man rotation against Syracuse. “I felt like at times we subbed a little bit too much. So we got to figure that out.” 

Ashton-Langford was put back in two minutes later, but Syracuse maintained its 10-point lead, and the Eagles didn’t have enough clock to crawl back. 

“Our details and our discipline in the second half needed to be better,” Grant said. “So we got to watch the film, figure out how we can continue to make those improvements.”

The Eagles’ inability to shoot against zone pressure—they converted just 33 percent of their 3-pointers—proved costly. BC’s highest active 3-point shooter, CJ Penha Jr., who is shooting 34.1 percent from three, played only four minutes. 

“It was pretty awkward,” Grant said of the rotation. 

January 1, 2023