Prior to what was technically their first road game of the regular season, the Boston College Eagles lost their best player. Then they lost the game itself.
On Sunday afternoon, the College of Charleston Cougars defeated the Eagles, 71-67. BC lost all three games in the Charleston Classic after winning their home opener and playing #16 Baylor close, deep into the second half.
Boston College would not have Ryan Anderson for this contest, as the Eagles’ star injured himself getting off of the team bus on Tuesday, as reported by ESPN3. He played through the injury on Thursday and Friday, but tweaked the injury prior to Sunday’s contest and was benched by Coach Steve Donahue.
The Eagles seemed to suffer few ill effects of it in the first half, as Boston College opened a five-point halftime lead. They did not go inside nearly as much, particularly when Dennis Clifford found his way to the bench with early foul trouble, but they did overcome their turnovers and make some big shots to hold the advantage at the break.
Out of halftime, however, Charleston came on strongly and overtook Boston College. Their lead was gone within minutes, and after Charleston grabbed a 42-40 lead, BC never tied the game or took the lead again. Charleston led by as many as eight points in the second half, but the Eagles showed some late fight to get back within one — at which point, they promptly gave up a three. When the Eagles got back within two, they allowed another three.
This is a discouraging loss for two reasons. One, even without Ryan Anderson, nobody on Boston College wanted to see 0-3 in the Charleston Classic. After a mostly well-played game against Baylor, it probably wasn’t expected, either. Two, the defense was again poor. They fell too far behind in the second half, but still had a chance in the closing minutes. Both times (before the endless fouling) they cut the lead to one basket, Charleston came back and hit crucial three-pointers. The low-post presence was also lacking without Anderson.
It was an opportunity for BC to see what they are with Anderson out of the lineup, and though Patrick Heckmann and Lonnie Jackson were able to improve offensively (Charleston was Jackson’s best game so far), this is a game BC should have won even without him. This was a road game, yet the Eagles led in the second half but couldn’t get out of their own way. They only shot 40% from the field and the team leader in rebounds (Joe Rahon) had just seven of them. Particularly after halftime, it was an ugly performance.
The Eagles will have to shake this off quickly if they intend to get back on track. BC hosts the SEC’s Auburn on Wednesday afternoon at Conte Forum.