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BC Upsets Orange, ‘Cuse Undefeated No More

Rich Barnes, Getty Images

They’ve been called Cardiac ‘Cuse for their recent knack for pulling out wins in the closing seconds. But on Wednesday, top ranked Syracuse could not resuscitated its chances at an undefeated season.

And, of all the threats to Jim Boeheim’s bid for perfect year this was not an opponent that stood out on the schedule.

The Boston College Eagles (7-19, 3-10 ACC) were just 2-10 in conference play entering Wednesday’s matchup with the No.1 Orange, but it was the Eagles who pulled out a shocking 62-59 overtime win at the Carrier Dome.

And the story was BC’s ability to overcome the zone by hitting from long range.

The Eagles hit 11 of 22 from 3-point range, including four from Olivier Hanlan who lead BC with 20 points.

By comparison, ‘Cuse (25-1, 12-1 ACC) made just 2 of 12 from beyond the arc (17%). Their deep threat, Trevor Cooney, shot just 1 of 6 from 3-point range including an air ball in the last seconds that could have tied the game and forced a second OT.

Syracuse built a 25-17 lead at the half do it large part to 17 points off of a dozen BC turnovers. In the second half and overtime though, the Orange were only able for force a four turnovers.

Rich Barnes, Getty Images Sport

‘Cuse came out of the locker room with a good offensive rhythm, pushing ahead 33-20. But immediately the Eagles went to work from deep. Over the next ten minutes Boston College nailed six 3-pointers, three each from Hanlan and Joe Rahon, part of a 26-9 run that put BC ahead 46-42.

‘Cuse would claw back to tie, but missed a chance to win it outright on the final possession – a Rakeem Christmas turn around baby jumper in the paint that clanked off the rim.

Hanlan opened the extra session with a long three. C.J. Fair answered right back with a pair – two of his team high 20. After each team was stopped on the ensuing possession, Patrick Heckmann drilled a 3-pointer of his own to put the Orange down four, 56-52. Two free throws for Christmas and a fast-break layup for Tyler Ennis tied the game once again.

After another defensive stop for Syracuse, Ennis missed a scoring chance but got his own rebound and was fouled. He would make only one of two, giving the Orange a one point advantage, 57-56.

Heckmann pushed BC back on top, scrambling to get open and scoring on a reverse layup making it 58-57 with 46 seconds left.

Out of a timeout, Ennis inexplicably threw the ball out of bounds looking for Fair on the baseline. However, the call on the floor was a deflection by BC, Syracuse ball. Several replay angles seemed to show the defender did not touch the ball, but the officials ruled the call on the floor would stand, still Syracuse ball.

From there though, the luck of the Orange would expire. Ennis missed a layup chance that could have extended the unbeaten season and in the last seconds it was the Eagles’ Lonnie Jackson – just a 56% shooter from the foul line this season – who would make four of four from the stripe to seal the stunner.

Historic Run

For the Orange, their best ever start to season was halted at 25 straight wins. They entered the game 12-0 in the ACC, which was also a school best record in conference play.
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