The Boston College Eagles lost a tough one today to the DePaul Blue Demons to the tune of 72-67. In a plodding game where offense was at a premium, DePaul managed to find just enough to come out on top. G Charlie Moore led all scorers with 24 points, while Derryck Thornton led the Eagles with 16. But this game wasn’t won or lost on shooting (both teams shot a pitiful sub 42% from the floor). It was lost on the boards. BC was outrebounded 47-28 over the course of the game, and the Blue Demons had a 16-6 offensive rebound advantage. That led to a +13 margin in second chance points, and undoubtedly the victory.
The game started out in a way that I can only describe as herky-jerky. Neither team ever really found a rhythm, and BC in particular seemed completely out of it on offense. The team shot just 29.6% from the field in the half and committed 8 turnovers. Nik Popovic and Jay Heath combined for just two first half points. Defensively, early foul trouble spelled Popovic for much of the first half. A DePaul squad that had an obvious size advantage exploited his absence, reflected by a +10 margin in the paint and a significant rebounding advantage that persisted through the entire game. It was only timely three point shooting that kept the Eagles deficit to two entering halftime.
The second half didn’t start much better as multiple scoreless streaks saw the DePaul lead climb into the double digits. I don’t think anything sums up the offensive woes for BC better than Popovic scoring his first points with only 5 minutes left in the game. And while the Eagles tried to come back, powered by some excellent play by Julian Rishwai (15 points on 4/7 shooting, as well as some timely blocks and steals), it ultimately was not enough.
1. Rishwain looked really good, and he’s clearly an asset going forward. He’s got a great stroke, great size, and though he made a bad rotation and gave up an easy dunk in crunch time there’s a lot to like there.
2. Steffon Mitchell does all the little things well, but can’t do the one big thing (score). It’s time (for me at least) to just accept that he’s a fan favorite, hardworking, and flawed player.
3. The lack of chemistry together really stuck out in the first half. Passes were off the mark and people weren’t where the ball handler expected them. That can get worked out over time, but time is running out.
Anyways, go watch BC play Notre Lame (#gotem) and enjoy the SEC take a bye week.