The Eagles played in their last regular season game of the season going up against the lowly ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (11-19, 4-15 ACC). Despite boasting a slightly better record, BC still entered this game as a +2.5 underdog in Vegas which honestly at first left me scratching my head at that spread. However, the first half of the contest proved that fading that spread was one of the best moves I made, gambling wise, in a long time.
The first half was an up-tempo and faced paced performance from both sides. Each side was riddled with turnovers with an aggregate of 14 occurring in the half. Nonetheless, Georgia Tech still managed to capitalize when the ball was in their hands. They had a fantastic shooting performance finishing the half shooting 57% from the field and 46.2% from deep on 6-13 shooting. Jordan Usher was the key player for GT in the first finishing with a game-high 11 points and shooting 5-7 from the floor.
The opposite was true of the Eagles who collectively struggled in trying to put the ball through the hoop. Starting around the ten minute mark of the half, the Eagles went a full 5 minutes without cashing in a field goal which is certainly not the recipe for success. They also had extreme difficulty in getting offensive rebounds for second chance opportunities. For a team that has been bright in that area of their game, and averaging 34.8 boards per game, they struggled to only reel in 2 OREB and 10 on the defensive end.
As a whole, BC was shooting marginally well at 47.8% in the half, but the inability to clean up the glass and defend around the perimeter were clearly cruxes in the Eagles’ first half performance.
The start of the second half was a deja vu type of start where the Yellow Jackets continued to have the hot hand. That was until the Eagles started to put the clamps down on defense and force some much needed turnovers and converting them into points. GT stalled out an went on a three minute span with no field goals while BC, behind Jaeden Zackery and James Karnik, started to get the Eags back into things with some transition points.
Simultaneously, the Eagles were able to clamp things down on defense and force GT into a scoring drought where they were unable to find the bottom of the net for a six minute stretch. BC was able to find success during this stretch on the offensive end going on a 12-0 run to bring the game into single digits. Just like that, the game was anyone’s for the taking.
After some back-and-forth possessions where each team was able to find their way to the cup, the contest was beginning to shape up to whichever team had the ball last was destined to be the winner. In this case, the Eagles played the clock appropriately and had a chance to seal the game with a last second shot but JZ’s take the cup was stripped and the game was forced into overtime.
In overtime, it was all Georgia Tech. The Eagles relapsed to their shooting ways in the first half where they simply could not make a bucket. They finished overtime shooting 2/8 from the field and GT’s Jordan Usher was on a mission to close out the game strong after an already stellar performance. Usher had some fantastic moves to the make space in the post to easily get by BC’s defense and the crowd was certainly there to backup their team’s performance. At times, it seemed that BC was rather jittery in the extra minutes period as Demarr made an inexcusable TO effectively giving the ball right to GT and making their attempt at a comeback all that much more difficult.
However, there as a slight March Madness element thrown into the closing seconds as Usher was unable to hit both his shots at the free-throw line and give BC a shot at tying the game on a buzzer beater three. Makai was selected as the chosen one to send BC to second overtime but, despite a clean look at the top of the key, was unable to rattle it through thus icing the game for the Jackets.
It was a hard fought comeback attempt from the Eagles, but overtime proved too difficult of a task to overcome. The Eagles finished shooting 44% from the field and 31.6% from deep to the tune of GT’s 56.6% on the floor and 42.9% from deep. This loss pushes BC further down the ACC table as they will finish near the bottom of the conference.
Boston College will prepare for their run in the ACC tournament as they prepare to face off against NC State on Tuesday March 8th.