Well, its finally over. The Boston College Eagles Men’s basketball have completed a full regular season plagued by injuries, breaks in COVID protocols, transfer requests and a coach being fired mid-season after a sloppy seven year coaching career. As Eagles fans, we were just waiting for this horror show to finally end to give us some time to exhale and look to the future. Of course, we still wanted to be by our team in their waning moments as the put a cap on their season. That last game for the Eagles came tonight against the Miami Hurricanes who earlier in the season were absolutely embarrassed by BC behind Rich Kelly’s 27 points with 21 of those coming from beyond the arc. Since then, a lot has obviously changed, including Kelly’s transfer request, but some things did not. Specifically, Miami’s taste for revenge.
Coming out of the gates in the first, both teams appeared pretty sluggish. The pace was certainly down tempo that even the announcers were doing whatever they could to try to keep viewers on the game. If I had a nickel for every time I heard the phrase “X team could have easily thrown in the towel, but here they are still fighting” or something similar to that, I would use that money to pay for the next head coach. Yet, I digress. The opening half was nothing short of just a face leaning against the palm of your hand type of performance. There were not many sparks, each team shot rather poorly (BC 11-28 (2-11 3PTs) UM 14-34 (2-11 3PTs), and not all that much to talk about. I suppose Karnik showed some good minutes hitting all his free-throws and contributing some offensive momentum. Oh, and we saw a flash of Van der Baan for a few seconds, but not enough for him to show up on the stat sheet. It almost felt like a fever dream to see him out there. Truthfully, I think he should stayed out there for a fair bit of the match because BC was getting absolutely dismantled down low by Nysier Brooks who finished with a career high 21 points in the paint and we could have used Van Der Baan’s height to potentially slow him down. Nonetheless, the only thing BC could have really patted itself on the shoulders on was that they were able to, once again, take Miami’s leading scorer, Isaiah Wong, out of the contest completely and go into the locker room’s trailing by three.
The second half brought about a little bit more energy from both teams as each side was able to string together some solid scoring runs. Jay Heath, who only had two points going into the half, started to catch some rhythm behind the arc along with Kamari Williams who showed some good minutes of the bench (11 PTs in total). The problem for the Eagles was that every time they seemed to get close to taking the lead from the Canes, Miami always seemed to have some type of answer. The answer was really the play of Kameron McGusty who gave the Canes some life from deep and finish as the game’s leading scorer with 27 points. I will give the Eagles credit here though. They did not just roll over and die. They truly did seem to fight until the bitter end. That was evident in final minutes as they kept forcing Miami to go to the line to buy themselves some more time for a few shots from deep with Fred Scott actually connecting on one to bring them to within three with six seconds to go. Alas, time ended up not being on the Eagles side and they were handed their 15th loss of the season.
As we all can attest, this has been a hellish year for the Eagles and I am sure they too are looking for better times ahead. This might have been the “slap on the face” type of season they needed in order to kickstart this program back into competitive form. However, they still have one last chance to make an unprecedented run in the ACC tournament where they will enter as the 15th seed.