Syracuse Falls Apart Defensively, Loses at Boston College

Mar 1, 2018

Frank Howard finished a woeful 6-20 shooting in the loss to Boston College.

Points were not at a premium in Syracuse's (18-12, 7-10) 85-70 road loss to Boston College (17-13, 7-10). The Orange allowed the second most points it has all season, thanks in large part to a great night shooting three-pointers from the Eagles. 

It was yet another ineffective night of scoring for Jim Boeheim's group. The team shot just 38 percent from the floor. On the other hand, BC hit on a whopping 52 percent of its long range attempts to keep the Orange at an arm's length the whole contest.

Frank Howard opened the scoring with a three, but Boston College responded with a 10-0 run and never looked back. After Howard's three was the only time that Syracuse led in the game. 

From there, the Eagles' ball movement picked apart the Syracuse zone. BC finished the night with 19 assists, often finding itself with wide open looks from behind the arc. Passing has been the Achilles heel of this Orange defense. Syracuse is 9-10 when it allows 15 or more assists and 9-2 when it keeps opponents under that 15-assist mark.

Ky Bowman, Jordan Chatman and Jerome Robinson combined to do most of the damage for the Eagles. The trio combined for 63 of BC's points. Syracuse had a similar story, with Howard, Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett scoring 64 of SU's points. The difference was the supporting cast.

Paschal Chukwu, Marek Dolezaj, Bourama Sidibe and Matthew Moyer combined for just six points in the contest. Meanwhile, Steffon Mitchell, Johncarlos Reyes, Nik Popovic, Luka Kraljevic and Vin Baker provided 22. 

The Orange continue to search for other scoring options. Dolezaj did not attempt a shot in the game. Moyer missed his only shot attempt of the night, but managed to knock down a pair of free throws. 

Turnovers plagued 'Cuse throughout the game as well. Syracuse coughed it up 15 times, underlining even more that this team struggles with ball movement. The Orange rank dead last in the ACC with just 11.3 assists per game. In fact, that ranks in the bottom 30 teams in the country. 

Another conference loss means Syracuse will post its worst conference record since joining the ACC. 10 conference losses is already the most that the program has ever suffered in a single season. 'Cuse joined the Big East when it was founded back in 1979. 

Syracuse will look to salvage its season with a chance for one more big win when it hosts Clemson on Saturday at 2 pm.