Boston College men’s basketball coach Steve Donahue was desperate to defuse the spiraling effect of recent narrow losses to Atlantic Coast Conference opponents.

The Eagles broke their debilitating hex in grandiose fashion with a stunning 62-59 overtime victory Wednesday night against top-ranked Syracuse.

BC handed the Orange their first loss of the season after 25 wins and avenged a 69-59 loss at Conte Forum on Jan. 13. The improbable victory by the Eagles (7-19, 3-10 ACC) at Syracuse marked only the third time a sub-.500 team defeated a No. 1 squad in The Associated Press poll on the road, and it was the first such occurrence since Georgia Tech topped Kentucky in 1955.

“I think we are a good basketball team even though everyone is making a big deal about the records and how bad this team is that beat the No. 1 team in the country,” BC coach Steve Donahue said yesterday. “We played a really good schedule and we‘ve played a lot of close games.

“We are not the worst team in the country and we are good enough to have won a lot more games. Our goal right now is to continue to play well and I thought we played as well as we’ve play most of the season (Wednesday) night.”

The Eagles, who go back on the road to face Miami tomorrow while the Orange play at Duke, have suffered six losses of five points or fewer.

“We have lost a lot of close games throughout the whole season, not just the ACC, and against Syracuse I even think we didn’t play great,” Donahue said. “I thought we’ve played better in games we’ve lost, but what we did was we didn’t allow a bad stretch to affect us.

“We didn’t allow missed shots to affect us on the defensive end and I thought we persevered. I told the guys we didn’t necessarily play better, but we played tougher mentally and smarter throughout the 45 minutes.”

The Eagles were inspired to take their best shot against incredible odds to honor popular basketball sports information director Dick Kelley, who lost a long and courageous battle with ALS last week. The players were emotionally drained after attending Kelley’s wake and funeral Mass before departing for Syracuse.

“There was a lot of emotional stuff that went into Dick’s passing,” Donahue said. “They visited Dick when he was in his condition and the funeral was obviously very emotional. But there was a sense of resilience in their youth and enthusiasm. I think the way Dick dealt with it really resonated with these guys. I think the guys sensed that through Dick’s courage.”