So is this going to be the formula for the Eagles against good teams from now on? BC plays pretty well throughout the first half, goes into halftime down by a handful of points, plays 10-15 good minutes in the 2nd half, and then their opponent goes on a run and pulls away. That's pretty much how BC's game against Syracuse went and that's pretty much how this game against the North Carolina Tar Heels went. BC played tough and then kind of fell apart at the end as UNC grabbed their first ACC win of the year, 82-71.
The defense wasn't good for the first part of the 1st half, but they really got things together and started playing a lot better. Unfortunately, the Eagles just had too many empty possessions on the offensive end. They gave away opportunities by committing dumb turnovers and missed several chances to tie the game or take the lead.
In the final 7 of 8 minutes of the game, UNC just made more plays. They hit tough shots, scored in transition, and never let the Eagles make that late push with open threes.
The Eagles once again rode their 5 starters for virtually the entire game. Donahue made a few subs here and there, but for the most part it was just Olivier Hanlan, Joe Rahon, Lonnie Jackson, Eddie Odio, and Ryan Anderson. That might have something to do with BC's inability to hang around and make these games really close down the stretch. They could just be getting tired as the game goes on and then not having enough to finish the 2nd half. BC hasn't had good luck with injuries at all this year, and right now they essentially have no depth. Garland Owens is still dealing with a turf toe injury. Dennis Clifford is done for the year. Patrick Heckmann and Alex Dragicevich have been horribly inconsistent. Somebody needs to step up in order to give the starters a break.
Thoughts and stuff that I noticed:
- What are rebounds? Do the Eagles know what they are? Rebounding has been an issue for Boston College all year and Saturday afternoon was no different. The Tar Heels had 4 offensive rebounds in the early part of the first half, allowing them to build a pretty decent lead. Some of those boards came on long rebounds, but BC still clearly needs to improve in this area. In the brief time that we saw Dennis Clifford, it appeared as though he would be exactly what the Eagles needed to get better at rebounding. But now he's done for the year, so Steve Donahue will have to find a different way to improve the work on the glass.
- Per usual, it was the three-point shooting that kept the Eagles in this game. They shot 6 of 11 from deep in the first half, including 3 of 3 from Eddie Odio. I'll admit that I didn't think much of Odio as a perimeter shooter entering this year, but he's really worked on his shot and made it at least respectable. I've been impressed by Odio's shooting ability in recent games. For the game, the Eagles shot 11 of 23 on threes.
- Turnovers were once again a problem. The Eagles had 10 turnovers in the first half and continued to turn it over at inopportune times in the 2nd half. BC finished with 18 turnovers
- Marcus Paige gave BC fits all afternoon. He's a pretty good player and had one of his better games of the season. He finished with 21 points on 7 of 10 shooting.
- Lonnie Jackson continues to be deadly from behind the arc. I love the threes, but I also worry about BC going away from Ryan Anderson too much on offense. it wasn't too long ago that he was BC's best offensive option and now he seems to be an afterthought on that end of the floor. If the Eagles can establish some sort of offense in the paint, it should open things up even more on the perimeter.
- The officiating was....interesting. That's all I'll say. Donahue tried really hard to get a technical foul at the end and it took a really long time. Eventually, they gave him a tech. It's cool that he kind of blew up because these refs were creative to say the least. It was like interpretive dance in the form of officiating. The game was already over when Donahue got the T and it shows that you have your team's back.
BC drops to 1-4 in the ACC and 5-13 overall. They play another late game at 9 PM on Tuesday night when they host the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. That should be a winnable game for the Eagles, but who really knows? See you then.