CHESTNUT HILL, Mass.,— If you think this story sounds familiar, that’s because, at this point in the season, it is a tired but consistent narrative.
As has happened so many times this season for the Boston College Eagles, the team stayed competitive with a better in-conference team for the first half of Saturday’s matchup against the Virginia Tech Hokies. Then, like clockwork, the team can’t keep pace and ultimately lose in blowout fashion.
Saturday afternoon, the Eagles lost to Virginia Tech 91-75 on Senior Day after leading 40-38 going into halftime.
“Our effort in the first half was fantastic,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “The play in the first half where five guys dove on the floor, that gives you a chance, but it’s a 40 minute game.”
Led by a 13 point effort by Jerome Robinson, and a resurgent effort by graduating senior Garland Owens, the Eagles forced nine turnovers by the Hokies, generating 15 points off turnovers. By and large, despite trailing by as much as 12 early in the first half, the Eagles were able to keep up with the Hokies, and maintain a back-and-forth matchup.
The start of the second half was much of the same, with the Eagles keeping up with the Hokies until the 13 minute mark of the second half.
With 12:28 to go in the second half, Mo Jeffers was whistled for a foul, his third of the night. In frustration, he appeared to spike the ball, drawing a technical foul call against him.
The situation became problematic, with both Nik Popovic and Jeffers at four fouls, the Eagles had to play a small lineup for much of the second half.
“[A technical] is a really selfish thing to do, and [Jeffers] is the first one to tell you that,” Christian said. “That’s not about a team thing, that’s about you. He knows that, he feels worse than anybody in that locker room. He’s been a guy who has been great all year long, he lost his head at a critical time, and obviously it hurt, it took all of our momentum away, and gave it to them. So yeah, I’m upset, he’s upset, it’s not indicative of who he is, and not who he’s been all year long. He was frustrated.”
From there, the Hokies outscored the Eagles 37-25, with the Eagles unable to keep pace offensively, and unable to stop the Hokies defensively.
The Eagles close out the 2016-17 home schedule with a record of 8-10. Two of the eight wins came in ACC play.
- Early in the second half, Ky Bowman was tended to during a stoppage in play with an apparent injury to his leg. Bowman returned to the game, and Christian confirmed during the post game press conference that Bowman had merely sustained cramps.
- The Eagles’ next game will be in South Bend, Ind. to take on Notre Dame in a rematch of the two teams’ matchup on Valentines’ Day. The Eagles lost to the Irish 84-76 after the Eagles blew a 10 point halftime lead.
- Jeffers, Owens and Connar Tava were all honored in a pregame ceremony commemorating Senior Day. Graduating seniors were also honored.
- Dana Barros and John Bagley both had their jerseys retired in a ceremony at halftime. You can view the ceremony here.