BC had a chance to steal an ACC road win this afternoon after a strong first half performance that put them in good position. However, the second half dropoff in shooting and rebounding was just too much for the Eagles to overcome, even with some final minute heroics.
The Eagles struggled early in the first half against an aggressive Cardinal defense. The Cardinals did a good job of keeping BC uncomfortable, forcing turnovers and keeping the Eagles out of the paint. BC put up five 3-point attempts in the first five minutes, sinking only one. They adjusted with a 12-0 run midway through the period, with Bowman and Robinson’s drives to the basket drawing fouls and opening up jump shots. Louisville’s cold shooting also began to heat up, led by Jordan Nwora who had 13 points in the first half. They ended up outrebounding the Cardinals 21-18 in the first half despite Louisville’s superior length. The Cardinals, however, were able to harass the BC offense into ten first half turnovers.
Louisville came out running in the second half, and BC turnovers along with cold shooting led to multiple fast breaks that extended the Louisville lead. After 5 minutes, the Cardinals had jumped out to a 13-point lead. Despite a short run to pull within 5, BC could not really recover. Their offensive ball movement really slowed down, players perhaps spooked away from making the extra pass in a game fraught with steals. 3-pointers and jump shots that had been falling earlier in the game were rimming out, and layups were hard to come by. Just when the game seemed completely over, down 18 points and under four minutes left to play, BC put up a furious run that would draw them back within 2. The trap defense was able to catch Louisville twice in a row and the Eagles suddenly couldn’t miss from 3. Steffon Mitchell, Jerome Robinson, and Jordan Chatman combined for four 3s in the last two minutes, the last of which put BC down 71-69 at the :50 mark. Ky Bowman fouled out on the trap attempt in the next possession and the Eagles offense had a hard time setting up a clean shot without him. Chatman was forced to take this last 3-point attempt off balance and he could not get it to fall. After that, BC was forced to foul and Louisville pulled away to end the game with a 77-69 win.
This loss puts BC’s record at 13-7 and 3-4 in the conference. They will get another chance to grab an ACC road win at Syracuse on Wednesday night at 7 PM.