Boston College-USC Final: Eagles Fade In Second As Trojans Win, 75-71


Boston College-USC Final: Boston College basketball fell asleep in the second half, eventually falling to USC, 75-71.

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The loss was Boston College’s first home loss of the season, with the Eagles dropping to 6-4 overall. USC improves to 7-4 on the year, having won five of their last six.

Boston College saw their four-game win streak end at Conte Forum on Sunday afternoon, which was their longest such stretch in a year and a half.

Boston College-USC Final: Game Synopsis

The first half of the game opened up with a flurry of scoring for both teams. Boston College had one good work inside the paint to claim an early 10-4 lead, but after a brief USC timeout, the Trojans showed what kind of game this would be by answering with a run to go ahead, 11-10.

In fact, aside from a brief lull in the middle of the first half in which fouls and turnovers outnumbered points, the scoring opened up again on both sides. At one point, the Eagles ran their lead out to as many as eight (37-29), but another quick USC run got them back to within two. Offense was very easy to come by in the first half, with the Eagles leading 41-37 at the break.

The second half started in a similar way, with both teams opening up the scoring almost immediately. Yet, someone was due to blink, and it was the Eagles. BC had a 48-47 advantage, after which the Trojans took the lead and never looked back. Following an Olivier Hanlan three at 11:46 to go, making it 55-51, Boston College would score only one basket in the next eight minutes. Four free throws were the only shots keeping BC in the game.

As the turnovers and fouls mounted for both teams, but especially the Eagles, Boston College would eventually fall behind by nine with 26 seconds to go. A quick flurry got the Eagles within two with 11.1 seconds left, but Katin Reinhardt sealed the game at the stripe.

Boston College-USC Final: Top Performers

Aaron Brown led all Eagles with 18 points, including 4-for-6 three-pointers. Olivier Hanlan had 15 points while Patrick Heckmann had 13 (3-for-3 from beyond the arc).

Elijah Stewart led USC with 22 points while Nikola Jovanovic, who had 15 the last time these two teams met, scored 16 on Sunday. Reinhardt scored 14 off the bench.

The Trojans shot 55 percent in field goals to get past the Eagles, despite 17 turnovers. Boston College shot 41 percent, including 28 percent from three land.

Boston College-USC Final: Bottom Line

This was a disappointing loss for the Eagles, the signs of which began manifesting themselves in the first half. Boston College’s defense, particularly on the inside, was not playing well in the early going, and it still did not play well as the game neared its conclusion. Allowing the Trojans to shoot 55 percent from the floor was a major cause for their downfall today.

Many of those failures came as USC drove to the basket; at times, there was no help down low at all, which is part of why the Trojans had as many points in the paint as they did. USC shot about 60 percent from inside the arc.

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Boston College was able to help force 17 USC turnovers, but their own shooting was not nearly good enough to get the job done. Olivier Hanlan may have had 15 points, but he made just six baskets out of 21 shots attempted. If you are going to take that many shots, you had better make more than six.

The Eagles will get a chance to regroup next week against another weak opponent, but this was a game Boston College could have won against a mediocre opponent and did not close the deal. It is a reality check for this team that they still have rebuilding work to do.

Boston College-USC Final: Next Up

Boston College will wrap up their six-game homestand next Monday, December 29, as they host the UMass-Lowell River Hawks.