The Eagles walked into Conte Forum to face Northwestern after blowing a lead against Richmond and it seemed like the ghosts of that loss were still haunting them.
Early on in the first half the game went back and forth with neither team able to gain a large lead. At the 9:01 mark in the first half Nik Popovic converted a layup to put BC up 20-19. It was the last bucket the Eagles would score till 2:35 left in the half and it was the last time they would hold the lead for the rest of the game. BC would finish off the half on the wrong end of a 15 to 7 run.
The Eagles never really recovered from that stretch. Things seemed to be looking up as BC came out of the locker room and shot 57.1% from the field to start the half. The Eagles even managed to go on an 8-0. However, as the half went along the basket kept getting smaller and smaller. BC finished the game shooting 44.8% from the field while Northwestern was shooting 58.2%. Any team can have an off night where the ball just doesn’t want to go in, but there are ways to minimalize its impact on a game. As Coach Christian said after the game, “When you’re not scoring, you got to make up for it with effort.” Whether it was defense or rebounding BC just didn’t make those plays. Northwestern outperformed BC in rebounding, points in the paint, points off turnovers, and second chance points. Arguably BC’s best re-bounders Popovic and Steffon Mitchell only combined for 3 rebounds and they only scored 8 points each. Missed rotations led to easy threes, turnovers led to easy baskets, and lost rebounds robbed BC of possessions and caused BC to never come within single digits of Northwestern in the second half.
Jairus Hamilton led the for BC in scoring with 12 points and he and Derryck Thornton led the team in rebounds with 4 each. Thornton and CJ Felder were the only players able to convert on their free throws opportunities.
The Eagles need to regain their beginning of the season form quickly as they travel to face ACC opponent Notre Dame this coming Saturday. Hopefully, this loss can refocus the team because BC is a better team than they showed tonight.