The Syracuse Orange were in yet another close game, but this time the Boston College Eagles came into the Carrier Dome and came away with a shocking victory to hand the number one team in the nation their first loss on the year, 62-59, in overtime.
The Orange, 25-1 (12-1), were off to the best start in school history before the loss. It was their longest winning streak in team history and it snapped a 45 game home winning streak against unranked opponents. C.J. Fair led the Orange with 20 points and 11 rebounds, but he shot just 7-23 from the floor. Tyler Ennis had 14 points, eight assists and just one turnover while Jerami Grant had 11 points, six rebounds and four steals. Olivier Hanlan added 20 points and four threes for the 7-19 Eagles.
Both teams started off the game slow, the Orange made only four of their first 18 shots, but they ended up taking a 25-17 lead into the break. They then pulled it up to 30-17 after a three from Trevor Cooney and a two-pointer on the next possession from Fair to start off the second half. An Ennis three made it a 33-20 lead to cap off an 8-3 run to start the half. Then the Eagles started to chip at the lead. Then Hanlan and Joe Rahon hit a combined five three-pointers in a six minute stretch that cut the Syracuse lead to three.
The Eagles then took a 46-42 lead after a couple more three from Rahon and a Ryan Anderson layup. The Orange then tied the game at 46 and the teams went back and forth to finish the half. A Grant bucket gave the Orange a 50-48 lead but Hanlan responded thirty seconds later with a layup to tie the game. A missed hook shot from Rakeem Christmas sent the game to overtime. Hanlan and Patrick Heckmann hit threes to start off the extra period and give the Eagles a 56-52 lead. When it was tied again at 56, Ennis split two at the free throw line to give the Orange a one point lead. On the ensuing possession, Anderson made a layup that gave the Eagles a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Lonnie Jackson, a 56 percent shooter from the charity stripe, hit four straight from the line to clinch the victory for the Eagles.
The Eagles are just 3-10 in conference play and were 0-15 against RPI Top 50 teams so far on the season coming into tonight. As a team, the Eagles shot 42.9 percent from the field and had 17 turnovers but hit 11 of their 22 three-point attempts and nine of their ten free throw attempts. The Orange had their worst shooting game on the season at 32 percent. They also shot only 2-12 from three and made just 17-24 free throws (70 percent). The Eagles out rebounded the Orange 40-37 and Christmas and Cooney combined to shoot for 3-14 from the field.
This was the third straight game for the Orange that was decided by three points or less and thee ninth game decided by six points or less on the season, but just the first to not go in their favor. The Orange have their highly anticipated rematch against the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday. Tip is at 7 p.m. ET.