Undefeated Streak Ends for Syracuse

In easily the most unexpected upset of the season, unranked Boston College handed No. 1 Syracuse its first loss of the season, beating the Orange, 62-59, in overtime at the Carrier Dome Wednesday night.

The Eagles had not won a game since Jan. 29, and before Wednesday, the only ACC team they’d defeated all season was Virginia Tech, which is 2-11 in conference play. Boston College is now 7-19 on the season.

Olivier Hanlan led Boston College with 20 points, including a layup to tie the game in the final seconds of regulation and a 3-pointer to open the scoring in overtime. Lonnie Jackson sealed the victory with four consecutive made free throws in the game’s final 26 seconds.

The Eagles shot 11-for-22 from the 3-point line, outscoring the Orange 33-6 from beyond the arc.

Afterwards, embattled and briefly emotional Boston College coach Steve Donahue talked about how difficult the past week has been for the program. Last Thursday, longtime sports information director Dick Kelley passed away at age 48 after losing his battle with ALS. Eagle players and coaches have been wearing black “DK” patches to honor Kelley in the two games since his death.

“It’s been an emotional week for us at BC, an emotional season,” Donahue said on the court after the game. “We lost one of our colleagues in Dick Kelley. The emotions of this game, I’m speechless. I’m so happy for our guys and all the adversity we’ve faced this year. Obviously, a huge win for the program. … I said at halftime, ‘Let’s just win ugly, do whatever it takes.’ That’s how you beat Syracuse; you do whatever you have to do.”

The win breathes new life into the Boston College program, one of the nation’s most disappointing teams this season. It may also cool the seat of Donahue, who has posted just one winning season in four years with the Eagles.

For Syracuse, the loss really isn’t that damaging. It shouldn’t hurt seeding too badly. The Orange have been due for a loss — though many folks thought the first one may have come Saturday at Duke — and getting it out of the way may relieve some of the pressure surrounding an undefeated regular season. Now, Wichita State is the lone unbeaten left in the sport.

The Orange’s loss does quiet a bit of the “charmed season” chatter. After so many close and miraculous come-from-behind victories, it seemed nothing could go wrong for Syracuse, particularly with cool, calm freshman point guard Tyler Ennis, who seldom makes mistakes with the game on the line. In Syracuse’s last two games, Ennis has proven he’s human. During overtime Wednesday, Ennis missed two shots, missed one free throw and turned the ball over once. He also turned the ball over with the score 46-46 and 3:46 left in regulation.

Elsewhere, No. 2 Florida also found itself facing the prospect of a major upset before pulling out a 71-66 win at home against unranked Auburn. The Gators have now won 18 consecutive games and appear poised, with a Saturday at Ole Miss, to take over the No. 1 spot in the polls.

Written by Nick

Nick

Nick the Quick White is an avid fan of basketball and hip hop, and a contributing writer with WJS since 2013. Nick has interviewed rappers, ballers, rapper ballers, and baller rappers on the site and continues to preach that the NBA should have a team in Europe. Maybe because Nick currently lives outside London where to them Football is actually played with your feet, can you believe this fatuousness?

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