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Encouraged Boston College out to solve issues with Syracuse


After earning its second top-25 win of the season earlier this week, Boston College stays at home to host longtime rival Syracuse on Saturday at Chestnut Hill, Mass.

The Eagles (11-12, 5-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) are looking to build off a dominant defensive effort in Tuesday’s 62-54 upset win over conference-leading and No. 20 Clemson.

“I just tell our guys that we’re just trying to build something,” BC coach Earl Grant said. “You are what you repeatedly do. You can’t get to a game and say, ‘Hey, here’s what you’re going to do.’ … You build habits and then it comes out in moments like (Tuesday).”

Makai Ashton-Langford (13.0 points per game) hit multiple key baskets and finished with a team-high 15 points for BC, which held Clemson to 30.8-percent shooting and forced an 0-for-17 stretch in the second half.

The Orange (13-10, 6-6) are on a three-game losing skid, but it can sweep the season series and win its 10th straight against BC after a 79-65 home win on New Year’s Eve.

After visiting Syracuse, BC lost four of its following five ACC games but has now won three of four.

Meanwhile, Syracuse’s most recent loss was 67-62 at home on Monday against No. 6 Virginia. The close battle featured seven ties and four lead changes.

Freshman guard Judah Mintz posted his second straight game of at least 20 points to lead the Orange, but he was 0 of 3 as part of the team’s 3-for-15 night (20.0 percent) from 3-point range.

Syracuse sophomore forward Benny Williams (personal) sat out the Virginia game. Freshman Maliq Brown has averaged 9.5 points and 6.5 rebounds while starting the last two games.

“It’s always tough when you’re not playing to your expectations or other people’s,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said of Williams during a local ESPN Radio appearance Thursday. “He hasn’t played the way he would have liked to, and I think it’s bothering him. But he was at practice and he worked hard.”

Williams logged 16 points and 11 rebounds in the first BC game.

BC center Quinten Post, who missed the first 13 games, has averaged 15.6 points and 6.1 rebounds over the last 10 contests. He scored 10 points through foul trouble against Clemson after three consecutive efforts of more than 20.

–Field Level Media

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