The game got off to a frenetic pace from tip off, with both teams trying to push the transition offense and play up tempo. Jim Christian’s game plan was clearly to push the pace and take as many shots, especially threes, as possible. With an athletic frontcourt that totally overmatched BC inside, outside attack wasn’t a terrible idea. Unfortunately, this strategy is predicated on shooting a high percentage and that was not in the cards tonight. The Eagles shot under 25% in the first half, despite Ky Bowman’s five 3s. They were outscored in the paint 20-4 in the first half, and out-rebounded 32-18. Nik Popovic and Jordan Chatman, who BC needs to be successful scorers to be in a position to compete, went a combined 2-for-15 in the half. After a scoreless final four minutes, the Eagles found themselves down 48-25 at the intermission.
The Eagle offense was resurrected after halftime, with Nik Popovic bullying in some jump hooks and the three ball falling for Bowman and Chatman. It just wasn’t enough to make a sustained run because the stops were few and far between on the other end. Still, the team clawed back form a 25-point deficit to 14 before the shooting went cold. As soon as BC shots started to hit the iron, the Tar Heels pounced on the rebounds and continually beat BC back in transition to score easily and drive the lead back up.
When the smoke cleared, it was a 79-66 BC loss. As has been the story often this season, there just was not enough scoring behind Bowman or consistent defense to win this one. The Tar Heels are playing some of their best basketball and the talent disparity was on full display at Conte. This game never really felt winnable for the Eagles and it makes some of those squandered opportunities like Georgia Tech this weekend sting all the more. The Eagles will wrap up the regular season in Conte Forum on Saturday at 2PM against North Carolina State.