The score said one thing, but the feel of the game said another.
In a contest where it felt like the Eagles were down 30 points or so all night, the Boston College Eagles men’s basketball team fell on Thursday to the Maryland Terrapins, 81-65. The loss has given BC their 18th defeat of the season, and their ninth in the ACC, keeping them on the hunt for an elusive road victory.
The Eagles, as is their wont, started the game well, going ahead 10-4. That’s when the problems began, as Maryland, led primarily by Terrell Stoglin, started bombing three pointers — in fact, they made seven in the span of four and a half minutes, which quickly dissolved BC’s lead and put them behind 27-12. Maryland stretched the lead to as many as 19 late in the first half, but Boston College was able to do enough to get back to within 14 at halftime.
BC opened up the second with a few quick baskets to make it a ten-point game, but as was the story all night, they could not continue to successfully chip away because Maryland shot too well. On a few occasions, the Eagles got back to within single-digits of the Terps, but Maryland kept coming up with shots to hold BC at bay.
There were a few positives. Ryan Anderson was one, as he managed 22 points and ten rebounds for yet another double-double and one of the best games of his brief BC career. Lonnie Jackson also did quite respectably, scoring 19 points. Those two young men totaled 41 points on 13 field goal makes; the rest of the Eagles scored 24 points on six.
Next, one can say with certainty that the Eagles fought. They did just enough not to get run out of the gym, and even though they could not catch up, BC did not check out and let the Terps blow them away. A few times late in the game, BC was able to get to within range after having looked relatively dead most of the night, which says something about their effort.
Unfortunately, there were far more negatives; Boston College did several things particularly poorly against Maryland. First is not a something, but a someone; namely, Dennis Clifford. There’s a lot to like about Clifford’s game, but let’s be honest: he had an awful night. Clifford was unable to finish two dunks and missed several layups during the contest, but somehow he still ended up with 11 points, yet just five rebounds.
On the topic of someones, Jordan Daniels was also a non-factor, not making a field goal in six attempts and coming away with as many points has he had turnovers (2).
Though the Eagles kept fighting, they looked particularly out of sync and did not shoot well as a team. Late in the game, when BC was down ~10 points, more or less, they ground out the shot clock a few too many times and settled for trading two-point shots with the Terps. Even so, they did not shoot the three well, making only four out of 15 attempts.
Two other qualms with the game: the officials called a very tight contest, and Maryland was dunking and alley-ooping in the final minute when they already had the game in the bag. If nothing else, hopefully the latter will light a fire under BC for Sunday’s game against Duke. The Eagles will need everything they’ve got to pull that one off at Conte Forum.