GAME NOTES: Coming off a historic win earlier in the week, the Boston College Eagles shift their focus to the Miami-Florida Hurricanes for an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup inside the BankUnited Center.
Boston College handed top-ranked Syracuse its first loss of the season on Wednesday night, 62-59 in overtime. It was as stunning an upset the college basketball world has seen this season, considering the Eagles were playing on the road and had lost five straight and eight of their previous nine games overall. Even with the victory, the Eagles are still just a combined 3-12 in road and neutral games this season.
Meanwhile, Miami sits at .500 overall but is only 4-9 in league play. However, the Hurricanes have won two of their last three outings, and that includes Wednesday's 71-64 triumph over Notre Dame. Following this tilt, they'll hit the road for three straight.
BC holds a 24-18 lead in the all-time series, although Miami has won each of the last seven meetings.
The Eagles' shocking win over Syracuse was only their third win over a top- ranked team in program history. They did it, in large part, by going on a huge, 29-12 second-half run to go up by four points with six minutes to play, before eventually sealing the win in overtime. They also made more 3-pointers (11) than 2-point buckets (10) for the game, while holding Syracuse to a dismal 32.3-percent shooting effort on its home floor. And after committing 12 first-half turnovers, BC coughed up possession only five times, which led to four points for the Orange. Olivier Hanlan (18.2 ppg) led the way with 20 points, Lonnie Jackson scored 10, and Ryan Anderson (14.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg) narrowly missed a double-double as he finished with nine points and a game- high 14 rebounds.
Miami is putting up just 61.4 ppg on the season, but its forte is defense, having limited the opposition to 59.7 ppg and 39.9-percent shooting from the floor. Rion Brown headlines the roster with team-highs of 14.7 ppg and 6.4 rpg, while fellow guard Garrius Adams is also averaging double figures with 10.2 ppg and 4.7 rpg. Despite being a guard-oriented team, the Hurricanes are shooting only a collective 33.1 percent from the perimeter. They did manage to knock down 9-of-17 threes (.529) against Notre Dame, although the Fighting Irish shot 13-of-28 (.464) from beyond the arc. Ultimately, Miami's 36-26 rebounding advantage, which yielded an 11-2 edge in second-chance points, proved to be a key factor in the outcome. Brown finished with 21 points and 11 boards, while Adams scored 14, and Davon Reed had 12 points.
Miami has dominated this head-to-head series of late, but that is also a reason why BC figures to avoid the proverbial letdown game here. Still, the Hurricanes are simply the more well-balanced team.
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