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Boston College Men’s Basketball Triumphs, 86-80, in Back-and-Forth Win Over St. John’s

The Eagles’ Best Game of the Season

NCAA Basketball: Brooklyn Showcase-St. John at Boston College Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

In a great back-and-forth battle, the Boston College men’s basketball team earned an 86-80 victory over the St. John’s Red Storm in the NABC Brooklyn Showcase. Quinten Post had another impressive game, and although he only scored one point in the second half, he ended with 14 points, 11 boards, and nine assists. Jaeden Zackery was in foul trouble for about ten minutes in the second half but ran the offense well and also scored 14 points.

When Zackery was on the bench, Chas Kelly and Claudell Harris stepped up and helped put St. John’s away, ending with 13 and 14 points respectively. BC’s balanced attack proved to be the right formula against a pesky St. John’s team, and the Eagles should be proud of this win, which is certainly their best of the young season.

Donning their Red Bandana uniforms, the Eagles started the game shooting poorly from the field, much like in their last game versus Holy Cross. With 15:54 left in the first half, they had attempted eight shots and made three of them. St. John’s didn’t fare much better, but they also grabbed five offensive rebounds within the first few minutes to keep the game at a 7-5 score.

Quinten Post and Jaeden Zackery picked up where they left off and scored 13 of BC’s first 17 points to start the game. Post dominated inside and out, making four out of his first five field goals. Donald Hand also contributed early, scoring twice within the first eight minutes. After the second TV timeout, BC trailed 19-17 but looked very competitive. At that point in the game, the only stats really separating the Eagles and the Red Storm was rebounding, with St. John’s grabbing 14 boards to BC’s seven.

BC tied the game with ten minutes to go following a nice layup from Mason Madsen and then took the lead on a Claudell Harris jumper with 9:32 remaining. The Red Storm tied the game again on the next possession, but Madsen and Zackery sank layups to put the Eagles up four and on a 10-2 run. Following a three from St. John’s, Devin McGlockton answered back with a layup off a Post assist to send the game to a timeout with 6:48 left and BC leading 27-24.

Post became BC’s first double-digit scorer with 5:18 left and BC leading 32-28. The Eagles’ defense continued to frustrate the St. John’s offense, forcing five turnovers with five minutes remaining in the opening half. Chas Kelly gave BC their biggest lead of the game on a layup to make the score 36-30 with three minutes in the half. The Red Storm brought the game closer but, going into halftime, BC held a slim 38-36 lead.

BC seemed to play better as the first half progressed and shot almost 53% from the field as a team. Post led all scorers with 13 points and also grabbed four boards and dished out three assists. Zackery and Hand both had six points at the break and Kelly had four points, three rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Neither team shot well from beyond the arc, with BC going 1/6 and St. John’s going 1/9 at the break.

On the first possession of the second half, Prince Aligbe swatted a layup attempt by Glenn Taylor and got the BC defense off to a good start. Post also continued his great passing game with two assists to Jaeden Zackery to give BC a 42-38 lead with 17:35 left in the game. A minute later, St. John’s second-leading scorer, Joel Soriano, slammed home a dunk to tie the game at 42 apiece. After a missed layup from Post, Soriano made a jump hook to give the Red Storm their first lead since halfway through the first half.

Coming out of a timeout, St. John’s hit a quick three-pointer, Jordan Dingle converted an and-one, and Soriano threw down another dunk to extend St. John’s run to 14-0 and extend their lead to 52-42. But the Eagles responded, going on a fast 5-0 run thanks to two Zackery layups and a free throw from Aligbe. Then, after stopping St. John’s on defense again, Claudell Harris hit a deep, pull-up three to cut the deficit to two points with 13 minutes remaining.

Mason Madsen put the Eagles back in front, 55-54, with about 11 minutes to go after confidently hitting a three, but the Red Storm scored on their next possession to seize control again. Following an Aligbe free throw, Post found Harris who hit another three in transition and put BC up 59-56. Then, Aligbe stole the ball from Brady Dunlap and dunked on the other end to give the Eagles a five-point lead with 10:04 remaining.

Following a Red Storm timeout, St. John’s went on a fast 8-0 run and Jaeden Zackery, BC’s leading scorer in the game, had to head to the bench with four fouls. The Eagles’ next two possessions ended in turnovers and the offense seemed out of sync without Zackery leading it. Joel Soriano continued to dominate for the Red Storm and sank two free throws to put his team up 66-61 with less than eight minutes to go.

Chas Kelly put the Eagles on his back for the next few minutes, hitting four free throws and making a layup to give BC a two-point lead with six minutes left. Harris made a driving layup, flexing after he was knocked down in the post, and Kelly sank a deep three to make the score 76-70 with just 2:47 remaining. A three from Jordan Dingle put the Red Storm within five, but Donald Hand hit two shots from the charity stripe to put the lead to seven for the Eagles.

With 1:41 left in the game, and BC up 80-75, Claudell Harris was fouled on a three-point shot and sank all three of his free throws and gave BC an eight-point lead, which seemed to put the nail in the Red Storm’s coffin. The game ended with a final of 86-80, and BC improved to 8-3 on the year. They’ll return to action on December 21st when they take on the Lehigh Mountain Hawks in Conte Forum.