Just like nearly every effort BC has put together this season, it was far from perfect, but the Boston College Eagles stopped the bleeding and beat Virginia Tech on Saturday afternoon, 58-56. This raises their record to 15-8 (5-4).
BC may have won the game, but undoubtedly, the player of the game was Virginia Tech’s Jeff Allen. He collected 25 points and 19 rebounds and was by far the most dominant player on the court. Boston College’s leading scorer was Joe Trapani with 14, falling a rebound short of getting a double-double himself. Eagles star player Reggie Jackson did not get on the scoreboard until 11:07 left in the game but still found a way to finish with 10 points.
This game swung back and forth towards the end, as BC led comfortably early but saw their lead dwindle heading into the half, and then the Hokies overtook the Eagles several times before BC got back out in front and stayed there. It certainly had an odd flow to it, as Virginia Tech shot only 34.5% from the floor but outrebounded the Eagles, including a 14-7 margin in offensive rebounds, keeping themselves in it. It still isn’t difficult to see why Virginia Tech didn’t overcome the deficit in the end, however: between Jeff Allen and Malcolm Delaney were 44 of the Hokies’ 56 points. This clearly means that the other six players who made it on the court scored only 12 combined for the entire game. Additionally, they got not one point from their bench, going a collective 0-7 in shooting.
The Eagles, meanwhile, got solid contributions from the bench, with today’s most notables being Corey Raji and Gabe Moton. Raji had only four points but gained eight rebounds, while Moton had six points off the bench. Two other encouraging signs for BC today were their limitation of turnovers (8) and improvement on blocks (6). Though I couldn’t see the game visually, I’ve also heard good things about BC’s defense today, which if true, would be a major positive development.
I certainly do not want to read too much into this victory today. While it was a good and very necessary win, there is still a great deal of work for the Eagles to do before we can start aiming high again. Their next game will be at Clemson: the Tigers are playing well and BC (as you will see in a future preview article) have a very unfortunate history at Littlejohn. Furthermore, there are road games against these same Hokies and North Carolina still on the schedule, and suggesting they will be difficult to win would be an understatement. Still, if BC had lost today, I could have envisioned the entire season spiraling out of control like 2007-2008, so at least we have this win.