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Thursday, Mar 01, 2018 at 1:20 am

Boston College’s Shooting Overwhelms Syracuse

By James Groh

Chestnut Hill, M.A. — Boston College shot nearly 52 percent from three-point range en route to its 85-70 thumping of Syracuse on Wednesday night. The Eagles’ trio of guards in Ky Bowman, Jerome Robinson, and Jordan Chatman shot 42 of its total 54 field goals, draining 20 of them. The three also accounted for all but one three-point attempt, ending 13-for-23 from beyond the arc.

“We just left them open way too much,” Oshae Brissett, who finished the night with 18 points and nine rebounds, said. “They are a great shooting team once they are wide open they are going to knock it down. Doesn’t matter where, doesn’t matter who they have those three guys.”

Tyus Battle echoed Brissett’s remarks.

“They can pull up off the screen so they aren’t just catch-and-shoot shooters, which makes it tough,” Battle said.

The game wasn’t always out of hand for Syracuse as it was only down by three at halftime. Head coach Jim Boeheim said that the difference in this game was just a few possessions.

“I think they got two or three offensive rebound baskets and two or three fast breaks,” Boeheim said.

That wasn’t the issue for Boeheim, though. He said, point blank, that there are players on his Syracuse team that can’t put the ball in the hoop.

“I think people think that these guys can score,” Boeheim said. “Matt (Moyer), Marek (Dolezaj), Paschal (Chukwu), they can’t. They can pick up a bucket here for there but they cannot score.”

Moyer and Dolezaj combined for 44 minutes against Boston College but just one shot. The two have scored 10 or more points four times this season, while Chukwu has done it just five times.

As usual, Tyus Battle led the scoring for the Orange. He had 29 points, of which 20 came in the first half.

It seemed like Battle was carrying the Orange offense in the first 20 minutes. After opening with nine points, Frank Howard was scoreless in the last 10 minutes of the first half. Brissett had eight points to start the game. No other players scored in the first half.

But each time Battle would pull his team back within a score or two, BC would answer back.

“It’s happened. It’s basketball.” Battle said. “We gotta make plays on both ends and we didn’t do that on the defensive end.”

It seemed like fatigue began to set in during the final minutes of the game. Boeheim blamed the high number of minutes players like Battle, Brissett, and Howard play every game.

However, all three of them said regardless of much they play, it’s never an excuse.

“It’s just mental at this point,” Battle said as he stared off into the distance. “I’m fine. We just gotta win.”

Frank Howard finished the game with 17 points but endured a near 15-minute stretch without a bucket. He shot 6-of-20 from the field and 3-of-10 from the arc.

“I don’t think I played very well,” Howard said.

While morale was low in the locker room, Boeheim wasn’t angry or downtrodden.

“This team has battled all year,” Boeheim said. “They are trying everything. They are trying hard as they can. I can’t get upset at them for doing everything they can.”

This was specifically in reference to Battle, Brissett, and Howard scoring the vast majority of the teams’ points while Dolezaj, Moyer, and Chukwu act in supporting roles.

Syracuse is now 18-12, including a 7-10 record in the ACC. The Orange will play its final regular season game on Saturday in the Dome against No. 18 Clemson at 2 p.m.