In their final warm-up before starting ACC play, BC defeated the Bulls of the University of South Florida by a score of 64-49.
USF won the opening tip and started off the scoring. They hit a 3 with 16:58 to give the Bulls a 5-3 lead, but Makai Ashton-Langford quickly tied the game with 2 free throws. The first five minutes of the game saw back and forth action with neither team taking more than a 2 or 3 point lead.
At the first media timeout (with 14:19 left in the half) the Eagles stretched the lead to 2 possessions and a score of 14-9, thanks to a DeMarr Langford Jr. layup and a James Karnik 3. Through the first 9 minutes the Eagles were shooting 58% but much of that was helped by the team’s ability to drive the ball into the paint and get easy layups. USF on the other hand mainly relied on mid-range jumpers and the occasionally 3-ball and shot 46% in the first 10 minutes.
The Eagles forced 5 turnovers within the first 12 minutes while having no turnovers of their own and they were able to score 6 points off those turnovers. With 7:22 left in the half the Eagles still held a slim 25 to 20 lead. As time wound down the Eagles found themselves in a bit of a scoring drought, going almost 3 and a half minutes without a bucket. The drought was ended by Quinten Post 3-pointer. That 3-pointer proved to be a brief oasis as it was followed up by another scoring draught for 3:12. Post also ended that scoreless stretch with 2 shots at the free throw line.
At halftime the Eagles led the game 30-24, thanks in large part to the 8 turnovers they forced and the 9 points they scored off those turnovers. However, the Eagles went from shooting 58% to shooting 36% . The Eagles only committed 1 turnover but the Bulls blocked 7 of the Eagles shots, and tightened up their interior defense as the half went along.
The Eagles started out the second half much like they’d ended the first, slow, with only a bucket and a single free throw from DeMarr Langford Jr. for the first 2 and a half minutes. Yet BC continued to force turnovers and protect their lead.
At 15:56 Karnik hit a 3-pointer that stretched BC’s lead to 10. At the first media timeout of the second half (14:57), the Eagles had forced a USF scoring drought for 2:07.
With just 10 and a half minutes left in the game the Eagles stretched their lead back out to 9, thanks to another USF scoring drought. While the Eagles offense remained sluggish, their defense kept them in front.
The lead slipped to 4 at one point as the Eagles went on a 2:14 scoring drought with 6 and a half minutes left to go in the game, but a layup by TJ Bickerstaff and a key 3-pointer from Brevin Galloway re-extended BC’s lead.
With 4:30 left in regulation, BC held a 51-44 lead despite only shooting 38% from the floor and 33% from beyond the arc. For all intents and purposes the BC defense was the Eagles’ best offense. BC continued the trend of forcing the Bulls to shoot late into the shot clock throughout the game.
With 4:16 left to go James Karnik took over and during a 90 second stretch Karnik scored 6 straight points off 3 layups and drew an offensive charge foul that helped the Eagles extend their lead to 57-44. The Eagles never looked back and continued to gradually build their lead, coasting to a 64-49 win. The victory was given an exclamation point as TJ Bickerstaff threw down a victorious dunk as BC’s last bucket.