Boston College-New Mexico Final Score: On Thursday evening in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Boston College Eagles defeated the New Mexico Lobos, 69-65.
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With the win, Boston College improves to 2-1 on the season, winning their first game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. New Mexico takes their first loss of the season, also moving to 2-1.
Boston College-New Mexico Final: Game Synopsis
The Eagles ran out to an early lead, 14-12 by the first television timeout, which eventually stretched to eight points at 23-15 with a foul and a free throw made by Aaron Brown.
New Mexico quickly cut into the lead, but Boston College would go on to make several threes in the latter part of the first half to pull away from the Lobos, eventually getting in front by ten (32-22). The Eagles would settle for a six-point advantage, 36-30, at halftime.
The key for Boston College after their disastrous second half against UMass last weekend was weathering the first few minutes after halftime. Boston College turned the ball over on consecutive possessions to open the half, but the Eagles got some big baskets by Brown, Patrick Heckmann, Eddie Odio, and Dennis Clifford to push BC out to a thirteen-point lead at 47-34.
In spite of the big advantage, New Mexico was not done. J.J. N’Ganga for the Lobos scored on consecutive baskets while Xavier Adams got a bucket and a foul, leading UNM on a quick 7-0 run. Following a BC timeout, however, the Eagles would respond by forcing a few turnovers and going back ahead by double digits.
The rest of the game would follow this pattern: Boston College pulled away, but New Mexico, led by Hugh Greenwood, pulled it back. Yet, they never got closer than four and the Eagles converted on their free throws to shut the door.
Boston College-New Mexico Final: The Stats
Olivier Hanlan led all Eagles with 20 points; Greenwood led all scorers with 24. Aaron Brown had 16 for the Eagles, while Heckmann had 11.
Garland Owens, who delivered a few pronounced dunks, added seven points. Dennis Clifford led all players with eight rebounds.
Boston College shot 47 percent from the floor; New Mexico shot 45 percent.
Boston College-New Mexico Final: Bottom Line
This was a good win for the Eagles, which is strange to say as the team had very few in the past several seasons. No doubt, this was one, and they were the better team for most of it.
There is still a long way to go in the season and it is important to remember that, but the Eagles are competing at a higher level than they were previously. Granted, that is not necessarily saying much, but the team’s improvements in terms of effort are noticeable.
Both teams were quite sloppy at times — 17 turnovers each — and the UNM press did hurt Boston College in the first, but the Eagles had the “game control,” to borrow a college football phrase, and made the shots they needed to win. The Donahue Eagles of 2013-14 almost certainly find a way to lose this game, so it is encouraging from a fan perspective to see Boston College persevere and gut out a victory.
Boston College-New Mexico Final: Next Up
Tomorrow night at 5pm ET, Boston College will face the winner of West Virginia vs. George Mason, a game which will tip off tonight.