After a tough four-game stretch of losses, BC men’s basketball has picked up the pieces against two of the lower tier ACC teams. They followed up this week’s win over Pitt with a 64-57 victory against the Miami Hurricanes on Bill Curley jersey retirement night. In a game celebrating past accomplishments, Jordan Chatman added his own by scoring his 1,000th career point.
It was a slow start for both teams who would combine for more turnovers than buckets in the first five minutes of play. The Eagles’ offense was buoyed by some early three-point contributions from Chris Herren Jr., Jairus Hamilton, and Jordan Chatman. Nik Popovic, returning after sitting out the Pittsburgh game with a concussion, also made his presence known on both ends.
Offensive fouls and poor passing plagued the team, however, and kept them from pulling away. The Eagles would turn the ball over eleven times in the first period. The Hurricanes could not take advantage, running an inefficient offense that produced 9-for-30 shooting in the first half. The BC defense held Miami scoreless in the final three minutes of the period and took a 25-21 lead into halftime.
The Eagles came out in the second half looking to take advantage of the open three-point looks that Miami was giving, and quickly jumped out to a ten-point lead. Miami turned up the defensive pressure during a late run that would pull them within 4, but clutch scoring drives from Popovic, Mitchell, and Bowman stopped the threat. Despite some struggles inbounding, BC was able to beat the Miami press and make free throws down the stretch to wind up with the 64-57 win.
Chatman had 15 points on his way to joining the 1,000-point club despite appearing to be dealing with lingering pain in his left hand. Popovic looked good in his return, putting up 15 points and 14 rebounds in 38 minutes. Bowman contributed 8 rebounds and 7 assists on a quieter scoring night having just recovered from the flu.
There were plenty of former BC greats in attendance tonight, from Jerome Robinson sitting next to the Eagle bench to the Bill Curley-led 1994 Elite Eight team. It all begs the question of when BC will be able to emerge from a long, slow rebuild to be a tournament contender again. These Eagles have been able to put together a pair of home wins to bring their record to 13-11 (4-8 ACC), and look ahead to a road stretch where they will try to steal one against North Carolina State or Clemson next week.