Boston College 86, Virginia Tech 75: Eagles Get 1st ACC Road Win in Blacksburg


Last season, the new-look Eagles went all year without an ACC road win, or a road win at all. They came especially close in Blacksburg, Virginia, but BC snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. This time, it only took them one conference road game to get on the board and get some payback for that last-minute meltdown.

On Wednesday evening in Blacksburg, the Boston College Eagles defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies, 86-75. The win raises the Eagles’ record to 9-6 (1-1) and makes it their first conference victory of the season. BC has now won six of their last seven games.

The first half started very slowly for both teams, but more for the visiting Eagles. It took them a fair amount of time to reach double-digits in points, and much longer to reach double digits in free throws made. Just as it was against NC State on Saturday, Boston College had significant difficulties making their foul shots, shooting only 8-for-17 from the stripe before halftime but climbing over 50% for the whole game.

Aside from some cool shooting to start, and even worse free throw shooting, the Eagles found a way to take a 32-26 lead into the half. Much of this had to do with turnovers, which favored Boston College in the only way that mattered: in the first, the Eagles led the Hokies 15-0 in points off of turnovers.  This only got more lopsided for the Hokies in the second half. For what it’s worth, BC also led on points in the paint and turned the ball over just four times early. Their turnover total for the game was only five, which is a very encouraging sign for Steve Donahue and company.

In the second, Boston College would have its lead stretch to double-digits thanks to some improved shooting and more costly turnovers for the Hokies that led to Eagle baskets. Virginia Tech went on several second-half runs to cut the margin to single digits and get as close as three, but they never broke through. Boston College made enough plays, and did enough with the opportunities the Hokies gave them, to keep Virginia Tech at arm’s length.

It does not particularly matter that Virginia Tech is a bottom-half team that’s starting to take on water faster than the Titanic: ACC wins are ACC wins. Considering how BC only got four the entire 2011-12 season, and none away from Conte Forum, this is a tangible sign of progress. It wasn’t a bad performance by the Eagles, either, and it should have been a blowout if not for the poor free throw shooting.

The Eagles return to the court on Saturday afternoon when they visit the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.