CHAPEL HILL, NC - JANUARY 07: Justin Watts #24 of the North Carolina Tar Heels battles for a loose ball with John Cahill #2 and Matt Humphrey #14 of the Boston College Eagles during play at the Dean Smith Center on January 7, 2012 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
That wasn't so bad, was it? There was never any doubt who would be winning this game, but the big question was whether the Eagles would be able to keep it close. And they did. Despite a 31 point spread, and a huge disparity in talent, Boston College stuck with the North Carolina for most of this game. The Eagles never really challenging the Heels, but also refused to let North Carolina run away with it.
The game started off with problems that were strikingly similar to what we saw in the Rhode island game. Tons of turnovers, and bad offensive sets. But the Eagles' never gave up. with brought the score back to 13 by halftime. The second half started with a 10-0 Heels run, but again BC responded, and at least kept it close. In the end the offensive prowess of Harrison Barnes, the defense of John Henson, and the depth and experience of the Heels were too much as UNC put the game away late in the second half and finished off their 83-60 win.
It's kind of sad, but even with a 23 point loss, you have to be kind of excited.The young team improved on the boards, only being out rebounded by 14, and allowing 11 offensive rebounds--down from the 21 they allowed against URI. Also there were good portions of the game where the offense was clicking, which led to scoring streaks and allowed BC to stick in the game. When BC's offense was working, they hit open shots, made smarter shot selections, and showed signs of energy.
Individually there were positives to take away as well. Ryan Anderson continued to show that he will the go to guy in terms of the offense. BC needs to figure out a way to get him more touches in the game, as there were large portions of the game where Anderson vanished. Gabe Moton also deserves some credit. When Jordan Daniels looked completely overwhelmed, Mouton came in, calming down the offense and preventing the game from spiraling completely out of control. The final tip of the hat goes to Matt Humphrey, who sparked the second half run with 14 points off the bench.
Conversely, there were still some troubling trends that continued with the Eagles. First and foremost, the turnovers. Oh, my the turnovers. They came fast and furiously, and often. BC finished the game with 19 turnovers, which is not going to win you many games, especially against teams like UNC. The other problem was free throws. True, BC only had 9 attempts at the charity stripe, but they only hit 3 of those. That is not acceptable, and should be something Steve Donahue should fix if he wants to win.
Finally, what is the deal with Patrick Heckmann? He was completely invisible for three-quarters of the game. When he is in the game, he dribbles the ball far too much and doesn't do anything with the ball. Yet, when he takes a shot he usually makes them. He certainly is an enigma.
In the end BC lost by 23, which is respectable against a team like North Carolina, especially on the road. The kids never gave up, continued to fight and kept it below 20 until UNC decided to leave their starters in and run up the score near the end. It's time to move on from this loss and look forward to the Eagles' next game against Clemson at Conte Forum. This could be a winnable game for the Eagles if they put everything together and play a complete game. Superfans show up and give this team some energy, you never know what they are capable of.