Pittsburgh 66, Boston College 59: Panthers Snap Skid At Boston College

Adam Hunger

Another loss for the Eagles where you can talk about poor 3 point shooting at home and horrible efforts rebounding the basketball.

Entering the game you would have thought that the 20-7 Pitt Panthers would have their way with Boston College.  However, Pitt had lost three straight and five of their last seven games. The Panthers only two wins in the last seven games were against teams in the bottom of the league -- needing OT in both games.

So it was not surprising that in the end, Boston College was only a few made shots away from beating the Panthers who are clearly not playing their best basketball right now. The final score was 66-59 but BC was right with Pitt and perhaps outplayed Pitt in the second half.

In the first half, the Eagles did not put up a very good performance at all. Olivier Hanlan accounted for basically all the scoring and positive plays as the team managed only seven rebounds in the entire half and only one made three-point shot.

Given the terrible first half stats, it was surprising that Boston College was only down nine points at the break.

Rebounding was as embarrassing in the first half as it has been for Boston College all season. Pitt would put up shots and Ryan Anderson would be the only BC player attempting to box out a Pitt Panther on nearly every possession. And perhaps he only got a body on his opponents because he was already defending a player in the post who would then try to push Anderson under the rim to get position for the offensive board. Then BC reverted several times to the tactic of just swatting the ball out towards mid-court rather than trying to grab rebounds with two hands. While this tactic does prevent an easy put back in the paint, it still usually resulted in Pitt retaining possession and getting another shot up.

Then in the second half, the Eagles' three-point shooting woke up just enough, led by Patrick Heckmann, and the defense also improved slightly to cut the Pitt halftime lead and make it a game for the entire second half. Boston College closed the gap close enough several times that it appeared they had a chance to take the lead but missing shots, not collecting rebounds and some bad fouls never allowed them to get over the hump.

The in-game comments post does tell a story from this game. The fewest comments for an ACC game this season shows most BC fans have completely stopped caring about this basketball team. They will probably start to pay attention again if BC gets at least one win in the ACC Tournament, but until then, there will not be a ton of eyes on Steve Donahue's final few games as the Boston College head coach. The attendance tonight was naturally also sparse at Conte Forum, especially the student section, but the attendance story is old and has not accurately reflected interest of the entire BC fan base recently.

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