Syracuse, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The top-ranked Syracuse Orange continue their run to perfection, as they play host to the Boston College Eagles in an ACC showdown at the Carrier Dome on Wednesday evening.
Jim Boeheim's Orange have won back-to-back games in thrilling fashion and as a result, improved to a school-record 25-0. After a half-court shot against Pittsburgh kept the dream season alive, the Orange were at it again, with a game-winner in the waning moments to edge out NC State this past Saturday, 56-55.
Steve Donahue's Eagles are at the opposite end of the ACC spectrum, residing just outside the conference cellar at a mere 2-10. At just 6-19 overall, BC has dropped five straight games and eight of its last nine overall. The skid continued on Sunday, with a 73-69 setback against Notre Dame.
Syracuse leads the all-time series by a count of 41-23. The Orange are seeking the regular-season sweep after posting a 69-59 win in Chestnut Hill on Jan. 13.
Ryan Anderson recorded his 19th career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Olivier Hanlan netted a game-18 points and Joe Rahon chipped in 13 points in the loss to the Irish. The Eagles shot .433 from the floor in the game, but were unable to overcome Notre Dame's .509 efficiency.
Boston College has struggled at both ends of the floor, averaging a modest 68.0 ppg, while allowing 72.4. Hanlan is an electrifying scorer, ranking fourth in the league at 18.2 ppg. Anderson is perhaps the most versatile Eagle, shooting 50 percent from the field and averaging 14.8 points and a team-best 7.1 rebounds per game. No other Eagle is averaging double digits in terms of scoring, although Rahon is just under that mark at 9.8 ppg, while leading BC with 3.3 apg.
C.J. Fair hit a game-winner with under seven seconds remaining in Syracuse's one-point win over the Wolfpack. Rakeem Christmas and Jerami Grant were instrumental in the victory as well, both posting double-doubles. Christmas dominated down low, with 14 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks. Grant added 12 points and 14 rebounds to the cause, while Fair finished with 11 points. Syracuse won the game despite shooting a mere .352 from the floor, which included an ugly 2-of-12 from behind the arc.
Syracuse averages a modest 70.0 ppg, but that is more than enough when considering the team's relentless play on the defensive end. The Orange are among the nation's best in terms of scoring defense (58.2 ppg), while enjoying a +4.7 turnover margin. The Orange are extremely balanced with depth both inside and out. Fair headlines the team with 16.5 ppg and is joined by Grant (12.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg) up front. The backcourt features sniper Trevor Cooney (13.6 ppg), who has 76 3-pointers to his credit and Tyler Ennis (11.8 ppg, 5.6 apg), who is a a terrific playmaker at the point.