Boston College men’s basketball used a heroic late second half run and a stout performance in overtime to stun the #5-seed Wake Forest Demon Deacons 82-77 in Round 2 of the ACC tournament in Brooklyn, NY.
The victory for the Eagles was a heartbreaker for Wake, who sit squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble and really needed a win to cement their resume.
For the Eagles, the victory represents BC’s first trip to the ACC quarterfinals since the Jerome Robinson/Ky Bowman team of 2018. BC will move on to face #4-seed Miami tomorrow at 2:30 on ESPN, with hopes of once again keeping Earl Grant’s first season alive.
More importantly for Grant and the Eagles, the win represents tremendous growth for a team that was hammered by this same Demon Deacons squad by 30 points at home just two months ago — and for a program that had gone 0-fer in March since 2018.
With 4:53 to go in regulation, the Eagles trailed 66-59, after Wake Forest ran roughshod over them for much of the second half. But slowly but surely they chipped away.
DeMarr Langford hit a pair of free throws, then James Karnik drew a charge to get a big rise out of the BC crowd in attendance, who came to their feet as BC closed to within 5.
Just over a minute later, Makai Ashton-Langford drilled a three in acres of space to bring BC back level, 66-66; then on the following possession, Brevin Galloway hit a three from long, long range to give the Eagles a 69-66 lead.
It looked like BC might control the game at the end of regulation, too with multiple chances to put it away - only to commit crucial turnovers on back-to-back possessions that allowed Wake to tie the game 70-70.
Brevin Galloway had a chance to score at the end of regulation to win it but missed, and you couldn’t help but fear as a BC fan that the Eagles missed an opportunity to advance.
But BC didn’t get down. They opened OT on a 6-0 run, hit clutch shots as OT drew down, and hung on for the win.
Free throw shooting - so often a thorn in BC’s side this year - was very good, especially in the second half and OT, as Wake piled up the fouls and continued to get top players in to foul trouble. BC finished the game 24-for-34 at the line.
BC shot 50% on the day from the field, with 5 Eagles finishing in double digits. DeMarr Langford led the way with 19, going 6-for-14 from the field. Quinten Post had 17 and was BC’s top player in a strong first half that saw the Eagles go 5-for-5 in their first 5 possessions and build an early lead.
The Eagles’ defense held Wake to 2-for-10 from the field in OT, controlling it from the start — deflating Wake, and doing what they had to do to live to play another day.