SYRACUSE, N.Y. — To a man, the Boston College Eagles were convinced of one thing: DK was looking down on them.
Olivier Hanlan and Patrick Heckmann hit 3-pointers in overtime, Lonnie Jackson made four straight free throws in the final 26.2 seconds, and lowly BC stunned top-ranked Syracuse 62-59 on Wednesday night, ending the Orange’s unbeaten season.
“It was an emotional game for us,” BC coach Steve Donahue said after his first Carrier Dome win in eight tries against the Orange. “It’s been incredible for these guys to persevere. We’ve played well in a lot of games.”
The Eagles came to town with heavy hearts and a good dose of determination. Longtime basketball media contact and sports information assistant Dick Kelley died last week after a two-year battle with ALS. His funeral was Tuesday and the Eagles, who often visited his apartment, were wearing “DK” patches on their uniforms.
“The patch on our chests, toward the end of the game it was like, ‘We can’t be denied. DK is looking down on us. He’s got us,”’ forward Ryan Anderson said. “It’s real emotional. It’s really going to set in in a couple of hours.”
Boston College (7-19, 3-10 Atlantic Coast Conference), which had lost five straight, rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit to pull off the improbable upset. The Eagles had dropped six games by four points or fewer, including 74-71 at Georgia Tech and 73-69 to Notre Dame in the last week.
“We’ve been in a lot of close games this year, lost a lot of heartbreakers,” said Jackson, who was just 9 of 16 from the free throw line in conference play entering the game. “We’ve been in this before, so we just had to rely on that. Finally, the ball bounced our way.”
Syracuse (25-1, 12-1) travels to No. 5 Duke on Saturday night for a rematch of their overtime instant classic on Feb. 1.