The #2 ranked Syracuse Orange (17-0, 4-0 ACC) beat the Boston College Eagles (5-12, 1-3 ACC) 69 to 59 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts on Monday night.
Freshman point guard Tyler Ennis started the scoring off for the Orange with a layup as the shot clock expired, moments later center Rakeem Christmas threw down a thunderous dunk.
Boston College star Olivier Hanlan tied the game briefly at four, but SU went on a 14-4 run, going up 16-8.
The Eagles made a response of their own, first Hanlan then Joe Rahon made threes on subsequent possessions, igniting the filled-to-capacity Silvio O. Conte Forum. After a couple of CJ Fair free throws, Rahon and Lonnie Jackson both added two more three pointers, taking the lead 19-18 with eight minutes to play.
After Boston College took a 21-19 lead with some free throws, Tyler Roberson drew a blocking foul in the lane and converted the three point play, giving SU the 22-21 lead. The Orange went on another run after that. First, Tyler Ennis stole the ball from Rahon, passing to a streaking Trevor Cooney who threw down a dunk. Then, Cooney made a steal of his own, finished with another dunk just seconds later, with SU taking a 28-23 lead. Boston College committed 10 turnovers in the first half.
A minute later, Cooney made another steal...resulting in yet another dunk, giving the Orange a 32-23 lead with 2:30 to play in the first half. Cooney finished with 14 in the first half. But, Boston College would once again creep back into it, as an Eddio Odio tip-in finished off a 7-0 run, cutting the deficit to two points, as the Orange led 32-30 at the half.
Tyler Ennis started off the second half with a bang for the Orange, sinking a wide open three to increase the lead to five. But once again Eagles responded, as Lonnie Jackson hit a three to bring Boston College back within two. The Orange was dealt another blow, as Rakeem Christmas picked up his third and fourth foul less than three minutes into the half, sending him to the bench.
Jackson and then Rahon both hit three pointers shortly after that, giving the Eagles the 40-37 lead. That was part of a 13-5 run to start the second half, which included a Ryan Anderson three-point play in the paint followed by a dunk to give BC the 45-37 lead...their biggest of the game.
That's when Ennis stepped up, first the freshman slithered into the lane for a layup, and followed that up with a three pointer to cut the lead to four at 47-44, but Lonnie Jackson stayed hot, answering with another three pointer to extend the BC lead to six points at 50-44.
Jerami Grant would pick up his fourth foul with 10 minutes to play, but moments later he'd pick up a big rebound and dunk that cut the lead to three. Trevor Cooney followed suit on the next possession, picking up a hustling rebound and finished the layup, cutting the Boston College lead to one.
Still playing with four fouls, Jerami Grant kept playing smart basketball, following up a Tyler Ennis miss with a tough layup, drawing a foul in the process. He'd make the free throw to give the Orange a 53-51 lead. That's when SU would start taking off via a 16-1 run, giving the Orange a 60-51 lead. Grant threw down one more thunderous dunk and the Orange coasted from there, going on to win 69-59.
Grant, who played the last ten minutes with four fouls, finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Cooney finished with 21 points, hitting three threes in the process. Tyler Ennis and C.J. Fair both had 12.
Boston College turned the ball over 16 times, as Lonnie Jackson finished with 18 points and six three pointers.
The Orange hosts #22 Pittsburgh in the Carrier Dome on Saturday. The Orange and the Panthers will tip off at 4 p.m.