Syracuse won their fifth straight game on Sunday, defeating Boston College 75-61 on the road. With the win, the Orange swept the season series with the Eagles. BC remains winless in ACC play (0-12), while SU improved to 8-5 in league play.
Four takeaways from the game:
1. Freshmen: Tyler Lydon and Malachi Richardson combined for 35 points on Sunday, including a perfect 6-of-6 at the free throw line. Lydon scored a career-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range. He provided a spark off the bench that the Orange needed, especially down the stretch in a back-and-forth "trap game." Richardson struggled a bit from the field, but still managed 15 points. He also had a team-high five assists.
2. Turnovers: Last game against Florida State, Syracuse committed 20 turnovers in an 85-72 victory over the Seminoles. On Sunday, the Orange had just eight turnovers, a number that was significantly better. It was something Syracuse needed to clean up and they did, especially before two big games this week (at Louisville, vs. Pittsburgh).
3. 2nd half defense: Boston College shot 57.9% from the field in the first half, including 57% from 3-point range. The first-half defense was lousy, which led to a 3-point halftime lead for the Orange. In the second half, SU held BC to 37.9% from the field and 41.7% from 3, which was ultimately the reason they came out victorious. Syracuse made defense a priority in the second half, and it showed.
4. Boeheim effect: After starting league play 0-4, Syracuse is now winners of their last five games, and eight of nine, improving to 18-8 overall, 8-5 in ACC play. Is it the Boeheim effect? Some think so. Since the Hall-of-Famer's return, Syracuse is 8-2. Under assistant coach Mike Hopkins, the Orange went 4-5 (0-3). Hopkins was put into a tough situation, but the numbers don't lie -- this team simply plays better when Jim Boeheim is on the sidelines.
Syracuse shot 88.9% (16-for-18) from the free throw line on Sunday. That played a huge role in their 14-point win.
SU traveled well on Sunday, as they typically do. Jim Boeheim called the crowd "75% Syracuse," which amazed him. A few of the players felt as if they were playing a home game, which without question made the environment more comfortable and manageable.