Second-ranked Orange squeeze life out of BC to remain unbeaten
Chestnut Hill, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Trevor Cooney finished with 21 points as second-ranked Syracuse used a lengthy surge in the second half to pull away from Boston College and record a 69-59 victory in the resumption of this rivalry from Conte Forum.
C.J. Fair was largely neutralized, finishing with 12 points and six rebounds, but Jerami Grant ended up with 16 and eight boards for the Orange (17-0, 4-0 ACC), who host Pitt on Saturday in hopes of keeping their unblemished record intact.
Tyler Ennis contributed 12 points and five assists along with six steals, as Syracuse notched its first win over its former Big East rival since 2005.
Lonnie Jackson netted 18 points and Ryan Anderson added 14 for the Eagles (5-12, 1-3), who squandered a six-point lead and dropped their fifth game in six thanks to committing 16 turnovers despite firing at 9-of-21 efficiency from beyond the arc.
Olivier Hanlan shot 2-for-7 from the field, totaling 13 points and six assists, with Joe Rahon chipping in three shots from long range along with six boards in defeat.
Jackson was good again from beyond the arc and it was a 50-44 spread for the Eagles just after the eight-minute mark of the second half, but the visitors snapped to attention thanks to work on the offensive glass.
Shots by Grant and Cooney in the paint were second-chance makes, then a three-point play by Grant boosted Syracuse to a 53-51 edge with 8:07 to play. Fair and Cooney added easy buckets, and when Cooney followed with a 3-pointer, the Orange held a 60-51 edge as just over six minutes remained in the contest.
Grant's emphatic slam gave the Orange a 62-53 edge, and a BC timeout finally ended the game-changing 18-3 surge.
The Eagles were only able to close within six down the stretch, as the Orange converted their free throws.
Syracuse used a 12-4 run in the early stages to gain separation, but Rahon and Jackson connected on back-to-back triples and gave BC a 19-18 edge.
The Eagles offense turned sloppy, and momentum swung the other way. Three slams from Cooney and a putback from Baye Moussa Keita capped a 14-4 surge and gave the Orange a 32-23 edge with 2:27 left in the half.
Eddie Odio's lay-in pulled BC to 32-30 at the break, and then the hosts stayed hot from long range. Jackson and Rahon's consecutive treys provided a 40-37 edge, and a three-point play from Anderson boosted the Eagles to a 43-37 advantage 3 1/2 minutes into the second half.
Syracuse upped its record to 35-17 vs. Boston College since 1979, when both programs joined the Big East ... The schools hadn't met since since BC stole a 65-60 decision at Conte on Feb. 19, 2005 ... Anderson shot just 6-of-13 from the charity stripe, as Boston College went 16-of-26 at the line ... Rahon committed a game-high five turnovers ... The Orange won despite shooting just 45.3 percent from the floor and letting the Eagles convert 50 percent from the field.
01/14 00:14:29 ET