Boston Univ. 75, BC 61: Another Winnable Game Gets Away from Eagles


Like on Wednesday night, it looked for a while like BC would be in the game until the end, but once again, it slipped away.

On Saturday afternoon at Conte Forum, the Boston College Eagles were defeated by the Boston University Terriers, 75-61. The loss drops BC to 2-6 and gives them their third loss in a row. The Terriers, meanwhile, have won four in a row.

The first half of this game, which resulted in a 31-31 tie, was legitimately one of the best halves of basketball BC had played this year.

Outside of some problems which would magnify themselves later in the game, such as perimeter defense, the Eagles were shooting the ball well and not turning it over with the same reckless abandon. BC led had 18 points off the bench compared to BU’s three, and BC even led in points in the paint at that moment.

The second half was much less promising. The Eagles were outscored 44-30 and the shooting cooled off. BC had its final lead of the game at the 11-minute mark, ahead 45-44. Just as we saw in the Penn State game, however, the Eagles let their opponents blow past them, as BU finished the game on a 31-16 run in the last 10:52 of the contest.

Lonnie Jackson led the Eagles with 11 points, while Ryan Anderson and Dennis Clifford had nine. Patrick Heckmann was nearly silent with six and Matt Humphrey was responsible for seven.

Two essential reasons why BC lost were (not) defending the three-point shot and rebounding. On the first, BU made thirteen of them from behind the arc, and more than that were wide-open looks. As for the latter, Boston College got killed on the glass as BU outrebounded them 37-24, but the offensive rebounding was worse. BU getting second (and sometimes more) chances ultimately doomed BC, dominating the offensive boards to the tune of 13-4. As such, BU led in second-chance points 16-7.

BC ended up turning the ball over 12 times in the game, and five of them came in the final few minutes. This was the same number that BU had, but the Terriers ended up besting the Eagles in points off of turnovers, 17-10.

Coach Donahue is definitely rotating players in and out liberally. In total, eleven players ended up seeing ten or more minutes on the court. This included, quite frankly, a few guys who look like they probably shouldn’t be getting much playing time at all. What I found the most curious was Ryan Anderson not starting and only getting 13 minutes; when he was in, he was good, and in spite of his very limited time on the court, he was tied for the second-most points on the team with nine.

One thing from the last game (and many previous ones) about which I had complained was Matt Humphrey forcing up a series of bad shots; today, this was not much of a problem. Then again, he only got 20 minutes of playing time himself.

BC played a little better in this game than against Penn State, especially on offense, and their stretch of good play was longer and better than in that game, but it’s yet another loss. These young players are having trouble holding leads and keeping themselves in games, and I hope it isn’t having a deleterious effect on their confidence.

Though there was a little bit of progress made in some areas, others, like the rebounding and perimeter defense, were ghastly. This is a one-step-forward-two-steps-back type of season we’re in, and I honestly can’t say BC is anywhere near being able to put it all together. When they’re good, we only see flashes of it, and when they improve in one area, they stay neutral or regress in another. Consistency is wholly lacking, and unfortunately, I don’t think giving almost a dozen players double-digit minutes is going to help. Also, even with the liberal player rotations, the team still appears to run out of gas at the end. The next time this young team plays a full 40 minutes will be the first; that’s something we’re going to have to look for over time.

At this point, it does not appear that my hopes of BC making it to 10 wins will be met. They will have a tough task getting #3 on Thursday when they travel to Providence.