The nightmare season is over.
On Thursday afternoon in the first round of the 2012 ACC Tournament, the 12-seeded Boston College Eagles lost to #5 North Carolina State, 78-57. BC will finish the season with a record of 9-22 (4-12) as their class of freshman will next take the court as sophomores.
The first half of the game was utterly dreadful. NC State started on a 14-0 run and it took Boston College nearly seven and a half minutes to get their first basket. As bad as BC’s shooting was, however, the Eagles’ biggest problem before halftime was limiting turnovers. The Eagles forked it over 13 times in the first half, with their last two in the closing moments in the half and causing a huge momentum swing. In fact, NC State cashed in on a BC turnover and turned it into a buzzer-beating three to give the Wolfpack a 13-point lead.
In the second half, Boston College was able to make the game competitive. The Eagles cut NC State’s lead to six, seven, or eight points on a number of occasions, but that was as close as they got. Eventually, the Wolfpack woke up again and pulled away for good.
At the end of the day, Boston College had a chance to make this a close game, but they screwed up every single opportunity they were afforded. How many times in the second half did BC cut it to 6 or 7 down, get the ball back, turn it back over, and give up a basket to the Wolfpack? It was these kinds of large, quick point swings against the Eagles that prevented them from getting back in the game, and it was entirely their own fault. BC sabotaged themselves repeatedly throughout the course of the contest, and not just in times when they had crucial opportunities to make it close but failed.
NC State appeared to be running up the score at the end, jacking up threes and dunking with the shot clock off. I don’t particularly take well to that sort of thing, but the outcome would not have changed, anyway.
This contest was very strange from a BC perspective. There were times when BC looked composed and as though they were capable of making a run, but for every good play they made, they committed an equal or greater error. Give credit to NC State, because even though they looked average for much of the game, they did not pass up on the mistakes the Eagles made. All the pressure was on the Wolfpack to win, not BC, and yet it was the young Eagles who looked flustered and often completely out of control. That can be expected from such an inexperienced bunch, but it was still very frustrating to watch — especially for Steve Donahue, who looked at times as though he would need the services of an oxygen mask and/or defibrillator paddles.
In a way, the game was a microcosm of the entire season for Boston College: start out by looking like green freshmen and get run out of the gym, show some fight, make mistakes, show some more fight, and then fade into complete irrelevance.
A few players did have notable games, though if we’re only talking about BC players, it was just Ryan Anderson. He had 22 points and 12 rebounds in the loss, and definitely was the sole player to show up for the Eagles. Lots of other guys, however, ranged from below-average to brutal. Matt Humphrey was 3-13 in shooting (0-6 from three), Lonnie Jackson and Jordan Daniels had some pitiful turnovers, Dennis Clifford was a non-factor on the glass, and outside of a great four-point play, a recovering Patrick Heckmann looked lost again.
Boston College battled despite playing poorly, which hopefully counts for something, but this season ended precisely the way we all thought it would. There is plenty to break down with regards to the BC basketball season; stay tuned in the days to come.