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Boston College Men’s Basketball Drops a Close One to North Carolina, 76-66

BC made a game of it, but an upset just wasn’t in the cards

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Boston College Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College welcomed No. 4 North Carolina to Chestnut Hill on Saturday afternoon in the hopes they could pull off an unlikely upset. BC hung tough down the stretch, but they couldn’t generate enough offense in what turned out to be a poor shooting night for the team.

The Eagles got the scoring started with two buckets from Devin McGlockton, but then turned the ball over twice and the Tarheels took the lead on an Elliot Cadeau jumper. But after a Prince Aligbe dunk and a sweet three from Quinten Post, BC took a 9-5 lead into the first TV timeout.

With 13:49 remaining, Post converted an and-one to put BC up 12-6. Both teams traded buckets over the next few minutes, and the Tarheels’ Jae’Lyn Withers made a corner three and then talked some smack to the Conte Forum crowd as he brought his team within two.

With 9:39 left, Elliott Cadeau threaded a pass to Cormac Ryan who finished an easy layup to put North Carolina up 17-16. BC’s offense went cold at this point, and they missed nine shots in a row going into a timeout with 7:54 left in the half.

With Quinten Post back in the game, he quickly ended BC’s drought with a spot-up jumper that gave the Eagles the lead again, but it didn’t last long. UNC’s Cormac Ryan hit a jumper at the top of the key, RJ Davis sank a running floater, and Cadeau made a driving layup and a free throw to put the ‘Heels up 24-20.

Post ended UNC’s scoring run with two free throws, but Jaeden Zackery fouled RJ Davis on a three-point attempt and he made all three free throws. Zackery redeemed himself on the next possession by making a three of his own, but Davis came right back and sank a three-pointer on the other end, giving UNC a 30-25 lead.

Post and Chas Kelly made a few free throws as the Eagles pulled within two points with under two minutes remaining and Kelly hit a fadeaway jumper to tie the game at 30 with 1:27 left. Prince Aligbe put the Eagles up by a point after hitting a free throw, but Harrison Ingram made a shot with 40 seconds left. After a questionable offensive foul against Kelly, James Okonkwo made a layup with one second left to send UNC to the locker room up 34-31.

The Eagles shot 35.7% from the field, compared to UNC’s 52.2% and BC was lucky that the deficit was only three. The main differences in the game were the turnover margin and Armando Bacot’s mysterious absence from the stat sheet. The Tarheels turned the ball over five more times than the Eagles and Bacot failed to even attempt a shot in the first half.

RJ Davis got the second-half scoring started with his second three of the game and Bacot got involved in the offense early, converting an and-one to put UNC up 40-31. A few minutes later, the Eagles pulled closer after a nice feed from Zackery to Aligbe to put them within four points.

A vicious lob from Cadeau to Harrison Ingram gave UNC a 42-36 lead with 16 minutes left in the game. The game slowed down a little as things got chippy between Quinten Post and one of the North Carolina players and the game slowed to a crawl.

Without Zackery and Post on the floor, BC struggled to generate offense and UNC gained more confidence on offense. The Tarheels held a 46-42 lead with 12:10 left in the game and then BC was on the unfortunate end of a missed out-of-bounds call that gave UNC the ball and led the crowd to chant “Refs you suck, refs you suck.”

At this point in the game, with BC losing 48-42 and just over 11 minutes left in the game, it felt like the Tarheels had seized the momentum and would start to pull away. But with 9:29 remaining, Chas Kelly hit free throws that made the score 52-48 but UNC hit two free throws and a layup to extend the lead to eight with under 7 minutes to go.

Claudell Harris finally hit his first shot of the game and converted the and-one to cut the deficit to five points. However, on the next possession, Devin McGlockton fouled out, but UNC couldn’t make its free throw. Prince Aligbe hit a huge three-pointer on the other end of the court, but then Post picked up his fourth foul with 5:36 left.

Armando Bacot made a jumper to give the Tarheels a 62-56 lead with 4:20 remaining. The teams went back and forth on the next few possessions, but North Carolina extended their lead to eight points, 68-60, after Bacot hit a free throw.

Mason Madsen converted an and-one with three minutes left, but the Eagles just couldn’t get enough stops on defense over the next few minutes and lost, 76-66.

The Eagles played well against the No. 4 team in the nation but shot an abysmal 17.6% from beyond the arc, 34.5% from the field, and were out-rebounded by the ‘Heels 43-28. Post had 19 points and 10 boards and Aligbe scored 14, but the trio of McGlockton, Zackery, and Harris only put up 19 points combined.

BC will look to get back in the win column on Tuesday when they travel to Blacksburg to face the 11-7 Virginia Tech Hokies.