Syracuse hits 16-of-18 free throws for insurance in win against Boston College

first_imgCHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The Boston College eagle vigorously shook its rear end in Malachi Richardson’s direction while he stood at the foul line. The mascot turned back and forth several times, all while the freshman’s eyes locked on the rim and the ball fell through the hoop twice.“We were able to get to the line and make our foul shots on the road,” Trevor Cooney said, “which isn’t easy to do.”The eagle nor the Eagles could dictate the part of Syracuse’s game that flew relatively under the radar. The Orange hit eight 3-pointers in the second half, but also made all eight of its foul shots and 16-of-18 from the charity stripe overall. The 89-percent clip was SU’s second-highest of the season and added insurance to a 3-point heavy attack in Syracuse’s (18-8, 8-5 Atlantic Coast) 75-61 win over Boston College (7-18, 0-12) on Sunday afternoon.“Being able to cash at the free throw line is huge for any team and we did a good job of that,” Michael Gbinije said, “getting to the line and making it count.”Only four times this season had Syracuse posted over an 80-percent mark at the line. The Orange has the third-worst percentage from the line in the ACC, only making 67.6 percent of its attempts.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textOn Sunday, SU took more than two attempts below its season average from the line but managed to hit over two free throws more than its average. Amid a 3-for-13 first-half effort from behind the arc, Syracuse got to the line five times and each trip included at least one make.“They have to play as tight on the perimeter because we have shooters,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said of BC, “so we also have to drive in those situations.”Even when shots were falling from deep in the second half, the Orange diversified its attack enough to put a comfortable distance between itself and the Eagles. Cooney, Gbinije and Tyler Lydon each hit all of their foul shots in the latter 20 minutes. It was the most free throws Syracuse has taken in a half this season without missing.For some, especially Tyler Roberson (he hit 3-of-4 free-throw attempts), it’s about being calmer at the line. Others, it’s about erasing the doubt that can accompany a trip to the line, especially on a team with such a mediocre percentage.“Step to the line and knowing you’re going to make it instead of having that iffy feeling,” Richardson, who hit all four of his, said.All five players who hit more than one shot – Roberson, Richardson, Lydon, Gbinije and Cooney – each made a trip to the line.And despite being defined by the long ball in the second half, Syracuse boasted enough dimensions to keep Boston College at bay and avoid being the Eagles’ first in-conference victim of 2016.“It’s huge,” Roberson said. “It’s a huge part of why we won by so much and we just got to shoot like that going forward.” Comments Published on February 14, 2016 at 4:52 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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