Boston College’s elusive first road win not only evaded them again, but it got further away than ever.
On Saturday afternoon in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Boston College men’s basketball lost to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 85-56. This loss was noteworthy (in a negative manner) for several reasons, the first of which is that it saddled the Eagles with their twentieth loss of the season. Next, it was the Eagles’ worst road defeat (29 points) of the year, their most lopsided ACC loss of the season, and finally, their second-worst defeat of the year behind UMass in November (36 points).
Wake Forest opened the game on a 5-0 run, but the Eagles were able to counter with a 14-6 spurt to take a lead of their own. From there, Wake and BC would punch and counterpunch a few times, and Boston College took their last lead at 21-20 on a Matt Humphrey layup. Once the Deacs retook the lead shortly thereafter, however, it was all downhill for the Eagles.
For about the last seven or eight minutes of the first half, the Eagles began to visibly unravel, feeling Wake Forest’s pressure and creating a number of unforced errors of their own. BC began missing layups and other short-range shots, committing a flurry of turnovers, and missing at the free throw line (mostly Ryan Anderson). What had looked relatively promising at the midway point of the half became a nine-point deficit. Eagles fans had no way of knowing how much worse the second half would get.
The second period began with a turnover which led to Wake Forest points, helping the Demon Deacons open on a 9-2 run. Boston College was then able to make some baskets and swim against the tide, but it was not long before Wake Forest washed them further out into the depths. With about nine minutes to go, the Eagles trailed by 20, and Wake Forest was able to extend their lead to as many as 32 points before settling at the final margin of 29.
There is absolutely no way to assess this game kindly from a Boston College perspective. Without question, this BC team matches up poorly with Wake Forest, as they have now been soundly defeated by them twice, but the Eagles’ listlessness and overwhelming appearance of being out-of-sync were very hard to ignore. For long stretches, BC looked like they did not belong on the same court.
Ryan Anderson was again the star of the Eagles’ show, coming up one rebound shy of yet another double-double, but even he was far from perfect, missing seven of nine free throw attempts. Lonnie Jackson made a few three-pointers and ended up with 12 points, and very few other players were relevant.
Boston College committed 15 turnovers throughout the game and got only seven points off of their bench. Praiseworthy contributions were few and far between. Of note, Patrick Heckmann returned to the floor after several weeks nursing injuries and overcoming mononucleosis, but his was hardly a game to remember, either.
It is very likely that Boston College, though they have one road game left, will not win any in an away venue this season. If we are going to be honest with ourselves, their best chance at it went up in smoke with two seconds to go in Blacksburg, Virginia. They will conclude with a contest in Miami, and the Hurricanes are a bubble team who will need that victory badly.
Eagles fans should be looking towards next season, as the odds of getting any more positive developments from this one are remote at best. Boston College will wrap up its home slate at Conte Forum on Wednesday against Georgia Tech.