Despite a career-high 34 points and a school record 10 three-pointers made by junior guard Cedric Hankerson, Boston University fell 99-77 to Syracuse University Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome.
After losing their previous two road games to Connecticut and North Carolina State by a combined six points, the Terriers came out Saturday playing with confidence while not being intimidated by the atmosphere.
Back-to-back three pointers by Hankerson in the opening minutes extended BU’s lead to 20-12 with 12:51 to go in the first half.
The teams traded baskets for the majority of the first half exposing each other’s zone defense.
Graduate transfer John Gillon scored 14 first half points for the Orange on 4 three-pointers while Hankerson led all scorers with 19 points at the break. A Cheddi Mosely straight away three-pointer at the buzzer cut the Orange lead to just six heading into intermission.
The Terriers trimmed the lead to 48-44 moments into the second half but then Syracuse made their run. Jim Boeheim’s team scored 40 of the game’s next 51 points en route to a second half rout of the visitors.
Freshman Taureen Thompson had 22 points and 7 rebounds for the Orange, dominating down low and finishing well above his 6-point average. Gillon finished with 23 points and Andrew White III had 19 points for the home team
Hankerson put on a clinic from behind the arc going 10-20 3FG. He was the lone bright spot for the Terrier offense, carrying them all game.
Eric Fanning finally got extended minutes after being in the doghouse following a technical foul at NC State. Fanning finished with 12 points and 9 rebounds in 26 minutes.
BU’s offense consisted of three pointers against the coveted Syracuse zone. The Terriers hoisted a season high 41 three pointers connecting on only 16 of them. The length of the Syracuse defense presented problems all game long.
When the Terriers did go inside, the interior presence was too much to handle as BU only scored 16 points in the paint. Syracuse blocked eight shots on the afternoon.
The Orange led by as many as 33 in the second half as the talented Orange team showed their true colors putting together a complete game on both ends of the court.
Hankerson’s historic game though was a good sign for the Terriers as the junior has started to heat up following a slow start to the season. His 10 three-pointers tied a Carrier Dome record.
Hopefully this game will serve as a coming out party for Hankerson, who left Saturday’s game with an ovation from the Carrier Dome crowd and big hug from Coach Joe Jones.
Saturday’s game was also a homecoming for senior Dylan Haines who hails from nearby Liverpool, N.Y. Haines scored 5 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in 21 minutes of play in a place he dreamt of playing as a kid.
BU has now lost five games in a row after starting the season 4-1. The Terriers will have the week off for finals before playing host to the University of New Hampshire on Sunday Dec. 18 at Case Gym.