Boston College gave it a try down in Charleston, South Carolina, but there just wasn’t enough in the tank for an upset to brew.
On Thursday afternoon, in the first meeting between these two programs, the Eagles were defeated by #16 Baylor, 84-74. BC falls to 1-1 on the season and will now face Dayton in Friday afternoon’s consolation bracket game.
Boston College started the game well and played with a great deal of life deep into the second half; one of the signature moments of the game was Ryan Anderson’s half-court three-pointer as the first half expired. The Eagles went on to take the lead over the #16 team in the country several times in the closing period, but the wheels eventually came off for the Eagles with about six minutes to go, as the Bears pulled away for good.
For Baylor, there were definite pluses, including Pierre Jackson, who led all scorers with 31 points and seven assists, while Isaiah Austin led all rebounders with nine.
As for Boston College, who were widely expected to lose this game in blowout fashion, there are a number of good things to take from this performance. In the second game of the season last year, BC got dismantled by Holy Cross; this time, they hung with a ranked team on a neutral floor for over 33 minutes before finally running out of gas. For a while, it seemed that the Eagles were playing well enough to win and had a legitimate chance, but Baylor’s closing minutes were far superior. As such, the Bears only committed one turnover in the second half.
Ryan Anderson had another excellent game with 25 points, though 19 of them came in the first half. Freshman point guard Olivier Hanlan recorded another solid performance with 16 points, while Harvard transfer Andrew Van Nest had 13 points off the bench for the Eagles. Also, the rebounding split only slightly favored Baylor, as the aggressive Eagles were not overpowered on the boards.
There were, however, some negatives. Lonnie Jackson went just 2-for-7 from beyond the arc (2-for-9 overall) as he continues to struggle finding his shot. Joe Rahon went 1-for-7 himself, only scoring three points. Patrick Heckmann committed four turnovers, three of which came in the second half (two on consecutive BC possessions), making him a liability on the offensive end. Finally, Boston College again had trouble defending the three, as Baylor made 12 en route to a win.
For Boston College, it is disappointing that they lost, but overall the team played respectably well. It may not mean anything at all for the season going forward, but if the first two games are any indication, this Boston College basketball team is not going to be an easy out. Despite some shooters having difficulties, this team is definitely better on offense and is not getting crushed in rebounds. There is definitely cause for optimism going forward, because this does not at all look like a team that will finish last in the ACC again.