Syracuse Rolls Past Boston College
By James Groh
Tyus Battle handled the ball at the top of the 3-point line. Paschal Chukwu set a pick and roll, allowing Battle to make a move toward the basket. Battle lobbed a pass over the head of a Boston College defender. Chukwu caught it and took one step toward the hoop before throwing down a powerful one-handed dunk.
“When our offense is going like that, we are fine,” Battle said.
Syracuse (14-6, 3-4) came out of its bye week with energy, rolling past Boston College (13-8, 3-5), 81-63. Just like Chukwu’s monster dunk in the second half, the Orange was dominant throughout the game.
The Orange offense was led by sophomore guard Tyus Battle, who had a game high 24 points. Frank Howard was also impressive, scoring 18 points and 6 assists.
However, it wasn’t just Battle and Howard who led Syracuse to victory. Wednesday’s win was a team effort as five different players scored in double digits for just the second time this season.
“I think we can be dangerous if we can get contributions from everyone. Paschal had a great game (and) Marek,” Howard said.
Marek Dolezaj nearly had a double-double with 12 points and 8 rebounds. It was just the third time he has scored more than 9 points this season.
He came off the bench for an injured Matthew Moyer just five minutes into the first half. Moyer went up for a rebound but came down awkwardly on his ankle. The medical staff attended to him, and he wore a boot for the rest of the game. Head coach Jim Boeheim said that he isn’t sure what the extent of the injury is or how long Moyer will be out.
Without Moyer, Boeheim has some decisions to make. “(Dolezaj) is the only other guy we got” who could fill that role, Boeheim said. However, Boeheim also mentioned that he would consider playing a three-guard starting lineup. That most likely means freshman Howard Washington would get the starting position, but he has only played 10 minutes or more twice this season.
Regardless of the situation, the Orange isn’t concerned that its productivity or efficiency will decline with one less man.
“We will figure it out,” said Howard. “We got a lot of talented guys. We are used to playing with a short bench, so it won’t be too much of a change.”
While Syracuse won in a dominant fashion, the game didn’t start out that way. At one point, the Orange was down 14-7 just four minutes into the first half. The Orange clawed its way back going on a 15-5 run and didn’t looking back.
Syracuse shot 60 percent from the field, 44 percent from deep, and made 73 percent of its free throws. Boston College couldn’t match the Orange’s efficiency by making just 48 percent of its field goals and shooting 48 percent from three-point land. However, the Eagles did best the Orange’s free throw mark shooting an impressive 83 percent from the line.
Syracuse has now won two games in a row. It will look to continue its success this weekend as the Orange travels to Pittsburgh to take on Pitt. The Orange won the last meeting between these teams, 59-45, just one week ago.