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An abundance of struggles has hampered Boston College's season, not to mention recent COVID-19 concerns, and now comes a Saturday road clash against a Syracuse team that crushed them in a December matchup.
Health and safety concerns within the program, as well as persistent injuries, left Boston College with just seven players for Wednesday's game against Wake Forest.
Yet the host Eagles almost erased a 14-point second-half deficit before falling to Wake Forest 69-65.
What Boston College head coach Jim Christian is finding out is that his team refuses to be overwhelmed. The Eagles continue to have fight.
"I keep asking during the game, 'Who needs a blow? Are you good?'" Christian said. "They're playing through fatigue at a really high level. I couldn't be more proud of them."
The Eagles (3-12, 1-8 ACC) have lost seven of eight. While Jay Heath led three Eagles in double figures with 20 points against Wake Forest, and CJ Felder contributed 17 points and 14 rebounds, Boston College shot a mere 32.8 percent from the field.
"For us to win, we've got to make shots," Christian said. "You can't shoot 33 percent in the ACC and expect to win the game."
Winners in four of their last six games, the Orange (11-6, 5-5) shot 46.7 percent in Tuesday's 77-68 victory at North Carolina State.
Alan Griffin steered Syracuse with 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting while playing all 40 minutes for the first time this season. Marek Dolezaj also played 40 minutes.
Griffin also impressed with his hustle and defense. He said that his three steals resulted from coach Jim Boeheim "being on my behind ... about rotating over."
Griffin added four rebounds, two assists and one block, helping fill an interior void as big man Bourama Sidibe contends with knee soreness.
"As the season has gone on, I'm getting more comfortable knowing where I have to be, learning the defense, and, as of (Tuesday), it showed that I have it down," Griffin said.
Syracuse thumped host Boston College 101-63 in the teams' first meeting, on Dec. 12, rolling to the largest margin of the victory since the Orange prevailed 96-55 in a March 1999 game. It marked first time either school eclipsed 100 points against the other since Syracuse did so in 1992.
Griffin registered a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds in the first meeting while drilling six 3-pointers, helping Syracuse go 16 of 31 from behind the arc. James Karnik paced the Eagles with 20 points.
The Orange have won five straight and seven of eight to claim a 52-26 advantage in the all-time series.
--Field Level Media