February 19

Boston College stuns No. 1 Syracuse 62-59 in OT

Boston College, which had lost five straight, rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to pull off the improbable upset.

By John Kekis
The Associated Press

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Olivier Hanlan and Patrick Heckmann hit 3-pointers in overtime, Lonnie Jackson made four straight free throws in the final 26.2 seconds, and lowly Boston College stunned top-ranked Syracuse 62-59 on Wednesday night, ending the Orange’s unbeaten season.

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Boston College players celebrate after defeating Syracuse 62-59 in overtime in an NCAA college basketball game in Syracuse, N.Y., on Wednesday.

The Associated Press

Boston College (7-19, 3-10 Atlantic Coast Conference), which had lost five straight, rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to pull off the improbable upset.

Syracuse (25-1, 12-1) travels to No. 5 Duke on Saturday night.

The loss leaves No. 3 Wichita State, which was playing at Loyola of Chicago on Wednesday, as the lone unbeaten in Division I.

The Eagles came to town with heavy hearts and a good dose of determination. Longtime basketball media contact and sports information assistant Dick Kelley died last week after a two-year battle with ALS. His funeral was Tuesday and the Eagles, who often visited his apartment, were wearing “DK” patches on their uniforms.

The Eagles, whose only conference wins this season were over Virginia Tech, beat a No. 1-ranked team for the third time and first since the 2008-09 season.

Syracuse, which had won its last two games by a combined three points, shot a season-low 32.2 percent from the field including going 2 of 12 from 3-point range.

Tied at 50 after two halves played at Boston College’s deliberate pace, Hanlan and Heckmann hit from long range to give BC a 56-52 lead with 2:56 left, but Tyler Ennis’s driving layup knotted the score at 56 with 2:09 to play.

A free throw by Ennis gave the Orange a one-point lead, but Heckmann’s backdoor layup put the Eagles back in front with 43.5 seconds left.

After a timeout, Ennis threw a pass toward C.J. Fair in the right corner that sailed out of bounds. After the officials initially ruled it was Syracuse’s ball a video review with 32.5 seconds left re-affirmed the call. It didn’t matter when Fair missed a drive and Jackson sealed the victory with his clutch free throws.

Hanlan finished with 20 points and Jackson had 10. Ryan Anderson had nine points and 14 rebounds, but the Eagles won it by going 11 of 22 from behind the arc.

Fair finished with 20 points on 7-of-23 shooting and had 11 rebounds. Ennis had 14 points and six assists and Jerami Grant finished with 11 points.

Syracuse beat won 58-56 at Pittsburgh a week ago and 56-55 over North Carolina State in the Carrier Dome on Saturday night – as the Orange had walked a tightrope much of the season.

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