In a game eerily reminiscent of BC's last outing against Virginia, the young Eagles put together a solid 35 minute performance before unraveling in the game's final five. Poor passing, turnovers and technical fouls allowed the Hurricanes to put together runs of 14-0 and 27-5 to pull away for a 76-54 victory in front of 5,866 and eight Superfans at Conte Forum.
Matt Humphrey led all Eagles scorers, finishing with 13 points, 7 boards, 2 blocks and an assist. Humphrey started the game shooting red hot from the floor, connecting on three of his first four attempts -- all three pointers, as well as putting together a solid effort on the defensive end. However, he faded down the stretch, missing his next four field goals and finishing just 3-8 from the floor (and 4-6 from the charity stripe).
This was not a good outing from Lonnie Jackson. Earlier in the game, Donahue was jawing at Jackson for not hustling and things seemingly boiled over in the second half after Jackson was called for a technical foul when Miami started to pull away, up 11. Jackson finished just 2-7 from the floor (and 2-6 from three) and committed three turnovers (a final TO count which seems generous).
Jordan Daniels finished with 9 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist, but like Humphrey, did not have a good second half. With the game tied at 49, Daniels committed two turnovers over the next three Eagles possessions and hit just one of three second half attempts from the floor.
The two freshmen who have really separated themselves from the rest of the freshman class -- Dennis Clifford (6 points, 6 boards) and Ryan Anderson (9 points, 6 boards) -- were more or less held in check this afternoon. The team seemed to struggle with Miami's size. Miami's 6-10 center Reggie Johnson finished with 14 points, 5 boards and just 2 personal fouls (with what seemed like 10), while 6-11 Kenny Kadjil finished with 14 and 7. Though Clifford is the tallest of those three players, the size advantage was apparent this afternoon -- Johnson, a senior, weighs in at 284 pounds, Kadjil 251 and Clifford just 241.
Donahue also mixed up the players on the floor more than he has over the last few games, giving some minutes to Gabe Moton (16), KC Caudill (13), Danny Rubin (8) and Eddie Odio (4). Even John Cain Carney, Deirunas Visockas and Peter Rehnquist saw the floor in this one.
While I was encouraged by this team's performance on the road at Virginia, this loss was discouraging in that the Eagles had the Canes on the ropes and couldn't put it together for 40 minutes. BC kept a good ACC team in check for 35 minutes on Thursday, and a bad one in check for 35 this afternoon. The Eagles kept the turnover count down (11 by my count in the first 35 minutes, before rattling off six more during Miami's run to blow the game open), relatively speaking, and actually won the battle on the glass, out-rebounding Miami 31-29. BC also shot better from the line, finishing 13-17 for 76.5 percent shooting.
Still, it's frustrating to watch this team compete for 35 minutes before completely unraveling over the final 1/8 of the game. The Eagles have now dropped four straight in ACC play after winning back-to-back home games over Clemson and Virginia Tech. With the loss, BC falls to 7-14 overall and 2-5 in conference play.
The good news is that this year's ACC schedule is fairly forgiving for Boston College, and the Eagles should have a few more opportunities to notch a few more conference wins before the ACC Tournament in Atlanta. Of BC's nine remaining conference games, four are against sub .500 teams in conference play -- @ Georgia Tech (2/4), @ Virginia Tech (2/12), @ Wake Forest (2/25) and Georgia Tech (2/29) -- though three of those four games are away from Conte Forum. The Eagles will also face Miami one more time this season in the regular season finale down in Coral Gables on March 3.
The Eagles next host N.C. State on Wednesday, February 1 at Conte Forum. Game tips at 8 PM.
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