Coming off a tough loss at Wake Forest on Saturday, the Boston College Eagles came into the match against the Miami Hurricanes with an eye for retribution. But the Canes continued their five game winning streak at the expense of the heartbroken fans at Conte Forum by a score of 60 to 59.
This game fell for the Eagles on basis of fundamentals. You began to see problems right from the beginning, when the switchboard operator accidentally started playing the BC Hockey pump up video. Then there were issues like free throws and late game management, that truly decided the game. But, I’ll get to that later.
The game started out great for the Eagles, putting out a great defensive fight against the now 13-3 Hurricanes highlighted by a highlight block by Eddie Odio against the backboard. But the pure size of the Hurricanes compared to the Eagles is what truly gave them the advantage. Sure Ryan Anderson and Dennis Clifford are big, but Clifford currently looks as hobbled as Willis Reed in Game 7. Clifford was active, getting rebounds but that was just about it. Ryan Anderson has continued his mid range slump, but was still a huge factor in the game, getting some late baskets to pull Boston College closer.
The real star of the game for Boston College was Lonnie Jackson who hit 4-8 from downtown and hit another from the field for 16 points. He was basically the only Eagles player who could hit from behind the line besides Joe Rahon. By the way, speaking of bad three point shooting, let’s look at Patrick Heckmann and Olivier Hanlan who combined for 7 attempts with only one hit. Like the New York Knicks, this team lives and dies on the three point line. That dismal shooting effort is starting to remind me of Matt Humphrey’s Starks-ian impersonation from last year which definitely isn’t good for the Eagles.
Now aside from the shooting woes, there were the late missed free throws. Well, the whole entire outcome of the game down to a single free throw by Olivier Hanlon at the end of the game. Down 60-57 with about only 10 seconds to go, because of the Eagles taking about 7 seconds to foul a Miami player on the previous possession, the Eagles were getting stuffed on the perimeter. But then with the last second running out, Hanlon got fouled by Durand Scott, who had just completed a great acting job getting a charge just a couple of seconds before. Now there were three free throws to make to tie game. Earlier, Hanlon had been erratic with his free throws and that did not change. With the Boston College faithful biting their nails and even some who couldn’t bear to watch, the first two free throws took some very serendipitous bounces until going in the basket.
But then the final miss off the rim sealed the deal, dropping Boston College to a record of 9-8 and leaving Eagles fans in shock.
The Eagles will seek to rebound against the Maryland Terrapins in College Park, who just completed an upset of No.14 N.C. State, on Tuesday, January 22nd.