It was a little closer than Boston College’s first two games, but the BC men’s basketball team gave head coach Earl Grant a 3-0 record in his first week in charge by topping the Fairfield Stags on Sunday, 72-64 at Conte Forum.
The Langfords once again led the way for BC, with Makai Ashton-Langford leading the Eagles with 17 points and DeMarr Langford chipping in 16. A three pointer by DeMarr assisted by Makai with 2:49 to go put BC up 66-54 and largely salted the game away, putting an exclamation point on a solid week by the pair.
Jaeden Zackery also had 13 points for the Eagles, along with a team-leading 6 assists.
The game was not a blowout by any means, with the Eagles’ biggest lead being a 60-46 gap with 5:44 left. But BC was rarely threatened, with the Eagles leading for the entire contest after James Karnik scored on BC’s opening possession.
The Eagles had around a 10 point lead for most of the late going, before getting in to a bit of a torturous stretch in the final minutes where BC struggled to hit free throws to put Fairfield away, and the Stags kept hitting shots to keep it close.
BC’s 3-0 start wasn’t exactly against the teeth of the nonconference schedule, but this was the toughest test so far, with Fairfield coming in as #224 in the KenPom rankings - so it was good to see the Eagles pass it with only minimal stress. Fairfield also gave Providence (Kenpom #78) a fairly competitive game last week, losing 80-73 last Tuesday, so it seems like they will be a tough out this year.
BC’s shooting was a solid 50% on the day (25-for-50), and the Eagles also cleaned up nicely on the boards, outrebounding Fairfield 35-28. The stats reflected the game as a whole - BC had a slight edge in every category but didn’t dominate anywhere.
The biggest concern for BC in terms of their inside game was probably getting in to foul trouble. Quinten Post had another nice performance for BC, picking up 8 rebounds to lead the team in 24 minutes on the court. But Post fouled out, while fellow forward TJ Bickerstaff picked up 4 fouls.
At the end of the day, this was a “taking care of business” performance for BC, doing what was expected of them as the team continues to grow toward ACC season. Nothing exceptional, but nothing too alarming either.
Next up: Rhode Island on the road, Wednesday at 6 PM. The Rams are 2-0 after wins over BU and Bryant, and sit at #90 in KenPom - so this will definitely be the most interesting game of the year so far. We’ll see if Earl Grant can make it 4-for-4.