Coming off its best win of the season, Boston College hopes to end 2022 on a high note Saturday when it visits Syracuse in an Atlantic Coast Conference affair.
The Eagles (7-6, 1-1 ACC) have matched their season high with two straight wins, most recently a 70-65 overtime upset against No. 21 Virginia Tech on Dec. 21. They have had 1 1/2 weeks off since that victory, so it remains to be seen if any momentum will carry over against the Orange (8-5, 1-1), who had a five-game winning streak snapped their last time out.
Syracuse nearly completed a stellar comeback against Pitt on Dec. 20, coming back from 20 points down in the second half to lose 84-82.
Saturday’s game presents itself as a matchup of talented backcourts.
BC boasts guards Makai Ashton-Langford (11.5 points) and Jaeden Zackery (10.9), who are the only two double-digit scorers on the team.
Syracuse also is paced by its starting guards, Judah Mintz (15.6 points) and Joe Girard (15.2). The two combined for 40 points in the loss to Pitt, but Orange coach Jim Boeheim was more concerned with the play of his forwards — and, more specifically, their lack of energy.
“It’s hard when your team’s two starting forwards (Benny Williams and Chris Bell) just don’t have the effort there,” Boeheim said. “I don’t know what their game is or what they think it is, but there’s no effort. If you don’t have effort, you can’t play this game.”
Against the Panthers, Williams and Bell combined to shoot 3 of 12 from the floor for seven combined points. That effort likely won’t be good enough against an Eagles team that held Virginia Tech to 5-of-20 shooting from long range and under 41 percent shooting from the field overall.
Ashton-Langford led the way offensively with 21 points, including a big 3-pointer late in overtime.
“Coach always tells us to believe, and we believe we can play up there with the best of them right now,” said Ashton-Langford. “That’s all it takes. If you believe you can succeed, you will. So this was definitely a statement win for us for sure.”
–Field Level Media