Boston College-Pittsburgh Final: Eagles Blow Big Lead, Lose 61-60 in Overtime


Boston College-Pittsburgh Final: Boston College basketball collapsed in the final minutes of the second half, en route to a 61-60 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers.

With the loss, Boston College has fallen in back-to-back games in conference play and now stands at 7-6 (0-2) on the season. This contest was their home opener in the ACC.

Boston College-Pittsburgh Final: Game Synopsis

The first half an hour of game time was brutal to watch with bad passing, bad shooting, and general bad basketball. Fast forward to the last ten minutes of regulation, where Boston College finally poked ahead of Pittsburgh and at least kept the game in a holding pattern. Pittsburgh scored to cut their deficit to four, and the Eagles extended it back up to six.

The game followed that pattern for several minutes, but with three minutes to go, the Eagles were able to grow the lead up to ten after a Dennis Clifford dunk made it 53-43. Pitt looked to be folding and the Eagles looked good.

A Josh Newkirk layup with 2:41 left got Pitt within eight, and eventually, an Olivier Hanlan turnover led to an Aaron Brown foul, which led to Pitt free throws. Six-point BC lead with 1:59 left.

Hanlan got fouled on the next trip and missed the front-end of a 1-and-1. Sheldon Jeter of Pittsburgh got a second chance after a Michael Young miss and made it a four-point game. After a Dennis Clifford turnover, Jeter then missed a three but got his own rebound and drew a Patrick Heckmann foul. Two more free throws and it’s a two-point game with 42.3 seconds left.

Then, Aaron Brown lost the ball out of bounds on the following possession and Josh Newkirk went in to tie the game with 31 seconds to go.

At 53-53, Patrick Heckmann had space under the rim for the game-winning layup as time was about to expire, but he and Clifford missed back-to-back shots from point-blank range and the game went to overtime.

In overtime, Boston College took a 5-point lead with half of the period gone, but again, Pittsburgh came back. Patrick Heckmann’s three with 2:46 left was the last point the Eagles would score in extra time. Josh Newkirk scored on a layup to make it a three-point deficit for Pitt, and after a Hanlan jumper miss, Jeter hit a layup to make it a one-point game with 46 seconds to go.

The Eagles got it back and were looking for a shot to pad the lead, but Patrick Heckmann turned the ball over and Pitt, following a timeout, scored the winning layup with five seconds left. Boston College still had a chance, but Heckmann, with a chance for redemption, airballed a layup attempt just before the buzzer and the Eagles lost a very tough one.

Boston College-Pittsburgh Final: The Stats

Olivier Hanlan led the Eagles with 18 points and tied Dennis Clifford with eight rebounds. Aaron Brown scored 11 while Garland Owens had nine off the bench.

Michael Young and Josh Newkirk both had 15 for Pitt. The Panthers shot 38 percent from the floor, while Boston College shot 40 percent.

Boston College-Pittsburgh Final: Opinionating

Does that game description not adequately imply how Boston College fans should feel about this performance?

Bad teams find ways to lose games, and Boston College basketball is a bad team that found a way to lose a game. As if we did not already know this, but they are going to get railroaded in ACC play if these first two games are any indication.

Boston College Eagles
Boston College Eagles /

Boston College Eagles

Duke was a lost cause from the start, but this was a winnable game over a middling ACC team. The Eagles had a ten-point lead with less than three minutes ago and blew it, missing no less than three layups that could have won the game.

The problems were deeper than just those missed shots at the end, as there were long Eagles scoring droughts and inconsistencies from key players. Does this sound familiar? It should. This is still mostly the same team that just polished off the worst three-season span in Boston College basketball history. The jury is still very much out on Jim Christian, but the roster he got has very little talent. It continues to show.

This was a bad loss for Boston College any way one approaches it, and the seeds of doubt are back.

Boston College-Pittsburgh Final: Next Up

The Eagles hit the road again this Saturday afternoon as they face the Miami Hurricanes in Coral Gables.