Today, the Boston College Eagles men’s basketball team traveled down to Kingston to face the Rhode Island Rams in their 4th game of the season after starting a solid 3-0. The Eagles fell flat as Rhode Island outhustled them all game on defense, racking up 13 blocks, as the Rams gave BC their first loss, 57-49.
Boston College put Quinten Post in the starting line-up in place of the usual center James Karnik. Brevin Galloway, meanwhile, was still held out of the game after suffering a short-term injury last week.
URI got off to a hot start, draining 2 three-pointers in their first 2 possessions and not letting BC score on the other end. Boston College wasn’t able to score a bucket of its own until 4 minutes in when a Ram goaltended a close shot by TJ Bickerstaff. Boston College quickly brought it back to a closer game, 11-9, though, with 5 straight points from TJ Bickerstaff and a monster dunk from Quinten Post. It quickly became a game of runs, as URI went on another run themselves to take a lead that was as large as 10 points in the first half while BC was stuck taking bad shots, not making anything, and committing a lot of messy and unnecessary fouls. But the game continued its crazy streakiness as BC came all the way back again to a deficit of just 1, before URI stretched it back to 9 at the half.
URI continued their time in the driver’s seat to begin the second half, blocking multiple Eagles’ shots and drawing some easy BC fouls to take a double-digit lead almost immediately. Earl Grant emphasizes his #GrittyNotPretty philosophy, but the Rams were the ones looking gritty out there playing stellar defense in the paint and fighting for open looks and rebounds on the offensive end. BC looked lost out there against the aggressive URI defense and they just couldn’t get anything going after getting blocked so much. The Eagles got some offense going in spurts throughout the rest of the game, but it was too little too late as URI remained relentless throughout the contest. Eventually time ran out and BC got its first loss of the season.
- The intensity Earl Grant had the Eagles playing with in the first half was impressive, especially after sitting though a lot of Jim Christian-coached games that looked sluggish as heck. But BC got sloppy at times, and gritty isn’t always effective if you’re making unnecessary fouls and not taking care of the ball.
- URI looked like the grittier team for a good stretch in the middle of the game there, and the Eagles looked demoralized after going down by more than 11 in the second half. BC has got to stay motivated for all 40 minutes or else this will be a long season. They’re going to face a lot of deficits against ACC competition.
- Post, Karnik, and Langford Jr. all had 3 fouls with over 10 minutes left in the game, putting them in a tough position defensively. That ties in with the point about messiness made above.
- BC’s inexperience shown through plenty tonight, as a lot of their defense got beat by simple switches and drives to the basket that more experienced players have adapted to. I saw DeMarr Langford Jr. and Jaeden Zackery specifically get beat on crossers multiple times where their positioning should’ve been better.
- Quinten Post looked dynamic in the paint as an offensive threat to start the game, scoring 11 for the night, but he dribbled into way too many steals and blocked shots instead of dishing it out of good defensive coverage. He also was a liability on the defensive end. Way too many passes went through him on the inside for easy URI scores under the basket. If he’s going to be the starter going forward, that’s something that needs to be cleaned up.
- Boston College got blocked 13 times. Their shot selection was mostly bad tonight and they paid the price. Ball movement’s got to be more consistent and shot releases need to get quicker.
- TJ Bickerstaff looked good! In an offensively-challenged game, Bickerstaff was a rare source of consistency as he scored a career-high 22 and provided some spacing that nobody else on the team managed to create.
- Boston College shot well from the free throw line! They went 18-24 from the charity stripe, alleviating some concerns from the start of this young season.
Boston College Game Leaders:
Points: TJ Bickerstaff (22)
3-pointers: TJ Bickerstaff (2)
Assists: Makai Ashton-Langford (5)
Rebounds: TJ Bickerstaff (15)