After trailing by just three at halftime, the Eagles snatched their first lead of the game 41-39, just over four minutes into the second half on a 6-0 run capped by Dennis Clifford's traditional three-poit play. Michael Gbinije responded with a three-pointer to give the Orange the lead back and sparking a 10-1 run that gave them a six point edge.
A few minutes later with Syracuse holding just a four point lead, freshman Tyler Lydon scored eight points in a 14-3 run that pushed the advantage to 15 points. Lydon led the Orange with 20 points and six rebounds on 8-12 shooting including 2-4 from beyond the three-point arc.
Those two runs were enough to pace the Orange to the 14 point win. Since starting the ACC slate 0-4, Syracuse has won eight of nine and sits three games over .500 in conference play. Syracuse shot 8-10 from beyond the arc in the second half and made 16 of their 18 free-throws on Sunday afternoon.
"When we got open shots, in the first half we were 3-13 from the three-point line," head coach Jim Boeheim said. "In the second half we were 8-10. We're a team that we have to make shots if we're going to be successful. The first half's a good example. We're playing well and doing everything pretty well on both ends of the court and we're up three because we're 3-13."
Lydon was not the only freshman to step up in this one for SU. Malachi Richardson poured in 15 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals while Franklin Howard added three assists and two points. Gbinije had another efficient day with 17 points on 5-8 shooting and 4-6 from deep. He added four assists, three rebounds and three steals.
Richardson, however, was a key for Syracuse in addition to Lydon. Not only did he hit outside shots, but he continues to distribute the ball to his teammates. The freshman has 14 assists in his last three games.
"He's handling the ball more," Boeheim said. "He's doing more with the ball. Today he didn't make his twos. He made his threes but he didn't make his twos. He's a very good passer and he can make plays. That's important for us."
Freshman guard Matt Milon tried to keep Boston College in the game, scoring a game-high 25 points on 8-12 shooting, including 5-7 from three-point range. Twenty of those points, however, came in the first half. The Eagles best player, Eli Carter, was held to just seven points on 2-9 shooting by the Syracuse defense.
"Milon's a deadly shooter and they did a good job finding him in the first half and we just didn't in the first half," Boeheim said. "In the second half, we figured it out and did a better job finding him. But he's a very good shooter. I don't like to see him out there against us. He shoots the basketball extremely well."
That Syracuse zone struggled in the first half, allowing Boston College to shoot 58% from the floor. They tightened up after intermission, holding the Eagles to 11-29 (37.9%) shooting in the second half.
Syracuse's next game is at Louisville on Wednesday, February 17th at 7:00pm Eastern.
"Louisville will be very difficult," Boeheim said. "They press, they do a lot of different things. So we'll need all hands on deck down there at Louisville."