After two shaky wins over low-major schools, Boston College needed to make a bit more of a statement. They did so on Saturday afternoon.
The Eagles men’s basketball team defeated the Providence Friars, 71-68 at Conte Forum. The win is BC’s third in a row and raises their record to 6-5 on the season.
Two things made this game stand out for Boston College, who have now put together a modest win streak. First, and most notably, was how the Eagles played a full 40-minute game while retaining some sort of consistency. It had been the case in many previous games with this group that they would have lengthy dead periods, particularly towards the end of games. On Saturday, BC kept an even effort against Providence and did not let the game get too far away from them at any point.
Second, the Eagles were able to mitigate turnovers. Boston College was able to limit their careless throw-aways that had been haunting them since last season and, because they were able to keep the ball, not magically, they had more possessions that ended favorably.
Defensively, the effort was spotty at times, especially on the perimeter with regards to Bryce Cotton, but BC did enough in that department to get by. The Eagles hustled, which was a welcome sight for BC fans.
Ryan Anderson led the Eagles with 24 points, while freshman Olivier Hanlan posted 19. Dennis Clifford made his return from injury on a limited basis, and played quite well considering he had a brace on his knee. Eddie Odio also had some nice moments off the bench for the Eagles.
In terms of quality, Providence is Boston College’s best win of the 2012-13 season so far. The Eagles earned it, as they played well enough to win and looked like a competent Division I team in the process. That, much more than pulling out games like St. Francis and New Hampshire, is cause for some measured optimism. On Saturday afternoon, BC played its best game in a while, as it was certainly their best 40-minute effort of the season to date. It was a good game and the Eagles have reason to be proud of their effort against a fairly good Providence team.
BC will take a week off for Christmas and come home next Saturday to face Holy Cross.