Syracuse, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Boston College outscored #1/1 Syracuse 12-9 in the extra session as the Eagles handed the Orange its first loss of the season 62-59 in overtime on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at the Carrier Dome.
Trailing 56-52 in the overtime period, Syracuse scored five unanswered to take its last lead of the night at 57-56 with 1:12 left. Patrick Heckmann recorded the go-ahead layup with 44 seconds remaining and Lonnie Jackson hit all four of his free throws in the final 26 seconds. Still, SU had one final chance but redshirt sophomore Trevor Cooney missed a desperation three with six seconds and the Orange couldn't get one last shot off.
Syracuse (25-1, 12-1 ACC), which entered the game as one of two unbeaten teams remaining in Division I, hadn't lost to an unranked team in the Dome since a setback to Seton Hall on Jan. 25, 2011. With the win, Boston College (7-19, 3-10 ACC) was able to salvage a season split with the Orange.
Senior C.J. Fair led all players with 20 points and had a season-best 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the campaign. Freshman Tyler Ennis stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists and junior Rakeem Christmas had another solid outing with nine points and 11 rebounds.
After Boston College opened the game with seven of the first nine points behind a pair of three's from Jackson, the Orange scored six straight to take its first lead of the night at 8-7. That run sparked a larger 14-4 spurt that pushed the Orange advantage to 18-13 with 3:44 left in the half with Fair scoring 10 points throughout the stretch.
Over the final two and a half minutes, SU outscored the Eagles 7-0 to take a 25-17 margin into halftime.
Syracuse scored the first five points in the second to make it 12 unanswered points dating back to the first half for its largest lead of the game at 30-17. Following the teams exchanging baskets from beyond the arc, Boston College clawed all the way back using a 26-9 run to go ahead 46-42 with 6:12 remaining on the clock. During that time, the Eagles drained six three's, getting three from Oliver Hanlan and a pair from Joe Rahon.
Four straight points from Ennis tied the game back up at 46-46 just one minute later and the squads went back-and-forth for the rest of regulation. A Heckmann layup had Boston College in front 48-46. However, a pair of free throws and a turnaround jumper by sophomore Jerami Grant had the Orange back in front at 50-48 with 1:17 left to play. Hanlan made a layup on the other end 30 seconds later and the Orange came up empty in two tries in the final 27 seconds.
SU couldn't overcome a hot second-half by the Eagles. After limiting BC to just six field goals in the first half, the visitors shot 52.2-percent (12-23) in the second, including 58.3-percent from long distance (7-12). For the game, Boston College finished 50-percent (11-22) from three-point range.
The Orange built its first half lead with the help of 12 Eagle turnovers. Syracuse won the points off turnovers 17-0 in the opening half, but only caused five turnovers in the final 25 minutes and got just two more points.
Hanlan tied Fair for game high scoring honors with 20 points on 4-of-9 shooting from deep. Jackson was the only other BC player in double-figures with 10 points and Ryan Anderson had nine points to go along with a game-best 14 rebounds.
Syracuse hits the road in four of its next five games, starting with #5/6 Duke on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.
(Courtesy: Syracuse University Athletics)