Some things went well for the Boston College Eagles against the Penn State Nittany Lions. Some things did not. Let's break it down.
Dennis Clifford: What got into Dennis Clifford in the second half? That was easily one of the best performances I've seen from him. He was aggressive on the inside, using his size to get to the basket. That is something that he needs to do every game, and it is great to see that from him.
A.J. Turner: Look, he had an uneven game scoring wise. His first half, however, was promising. I think BC has the potential to have a lineup full of potent scorers. It is just a matter of getting them to score.
Only leading by one at halftime: Penn State had a BC vs. Santa Clara-esque period of futility Wednesday night-namely that they didn't get a basket from the field in the last 6:21 of the first half. When a team has that amount of futility, an opponent needs to capitalize. The fact that the Eagles were only able to score seven points in that period means they missed a golden opportunity. When a team struggles as much as Penn State does going into halftime (0 for 10), the Eagles need to capitalize, and they didn't.
Shep Garner Scoring At Will: There was a part of me that was thoroughly impressed with Garner's night beyond the arc. It was hard not to be impressed. He simply couldn't miss. However, on multiple occasions he was left unguarded. At some point in the game, he needs to be picked out as someone who is having a good night, and the defensive arrangement needs to be adjusted. The adjustment never happened, and Garner walked all over the Eagles.
Going 64% from the stripe: Penn State got into foul trouble, and they got into foul trouble very quickly. The Eagles were in the bonus before the halfway point in the first half, and at the halfway point in the second half. The Nittany Lions were daring the Eagles to make their free throws, and the Eagles weren't. Those free throws were crucial.
Not closing well: The Eagles were 3-for-9 in the last seven minutes of the game from the field. Jim Christian after the game called the offensive effort down the stretch "lazy." Whatever the adjective, in a close game the team needs to be stronger offensively, and they weren't.
Overall, there were some positive takeaways from the game, but the Eagles missed some solid opportunities and it hurt them in the end.