Gbinije leads Orange past BC, 70-56
BOSTON (AP) Syracuse couldn't seem to get out on transition much all night. Then, in just a few minutes, the Orange broke free for easy baskets and turned it into a lopsided win.
Michael Gbinije scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds, Trevor Cooney had 15 points and Syracuse pulled away for a 70-56 victory over Boston College on Wednesday night.
''Our transition is only there when we get a deflection or block,'' Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. ''We got a couple of blocks and a couple of steals. We're good then. We can run.''
Holding a 41-40 lead with just over 13 minutes to play, Syracuse took charge by scoring 17 of the next 25 points over a six-minute stretch.
The Orange turned that good defense into easy baskets, finishing two possessions with transition dunks during their game-breaking run.
''We have guys who can finish and guys who are strong and can make plays,'' Cooney said. ''We have guys that can shoot it, so you have to respect us out there. I think that's the thing we're really good at. But, to get fastbreaks, you have to get stops.''
Syracuse did it with an off night from senior forward Rakeem Christmas, who entered leading the ACC in scoring at 18.5 points per game.
Christmas didn't collect his first basket until late in the first half and finished with seven points and 10 boards.
Neither team had much going on the fast break in the first half - each scored just two points.
Kaleb Joseph added 14 points and B.J. Johnson 12 for the Orange (16-8, 7-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Aaron Brown scored 19 and Olivier Hanlan 16 as Boston College (9-14, 1-10) lost its fifth straight.
''You have to have more invested and that's the bottom line,'' BC coach Jim Christian said. ''It is the same story every game and the less you have invested the easier it is to give in.''
After a basket by Hanlan, the Orange put it away with a 9-0 spree that was capped by two free throws by Cooney after a flagrant 1 foul by Dimitri Batten. Cooney then scored on a drive on the ensuing possession, making it 67-50 with 3 1/2 minutes to play.
In the closing minute, the crowd - about half-filled with Syracuse fans - started chanting `Let's Go Orange.'
In a first half mostly filled with deliberate half-court offense and a handful of sloppy passes, the Orange - behind a quick burst of 3-point shooting - led 28-24 at intermission.
Syracuse hit three from beyond the arc in a 2:16 span, turning a one-point deficit into a 21-13 edge.
Syracuse: It was the Orange's second game since a self-imposed postseason ban for the current men's basketball season as part of its case pending before the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
Boston College: Reserve Will Magarity returned after missing the previous two games with a concussion. ... The Eagles wore gray throwback uniforms. ... There was a moment of silence for former North Carolina coach Dean Smith, who passed away Saturday. He was 83.
NICE ROAD SHOWING
The Orange improved to 3-5 on the road. ''This is the best we've played on the road this year,'' Boeheim said. ... They shot 49.1 percent from the floor, connecting on 9 of 23 from beyond the 3-point line, and outrebounded BC 33-23.
CALLING `EM OUT
Christian was upset by the effort and desire his team has shown lately. ''We have to have guys more invested in winning and doing what it takes year round to be a good basketball player at this level,'' he said.
Syracuse: Hosts No. 4 Duke on Saturday.
Boston College: Hosts Miami on Sunday.