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Just how head coach Al Skinner drew it up — almost.
The Eagles opened conference play with a 61-60 win against Miami, ending a three game losing streak to the Hurricanes. But for the third consecutive game the Eagles dominated for 30 minutes only to almost let it slip away down the stretch. BC has won its last three games by margins of five, four, and one, but held second half leads of 18, 17 and 16 respectively.
The Eagles(6-2, 1-0) closed out the final 5:30 of the first half on a 12-2 run taking a 31-25 lead into the locker room. They began the second half just as hot, jumping all over the Hurricanes (8-1, 0-1) with a 12-4 run ballooning the lead to 14. The cushion eventually grew to 16 after Dallas Elmore drilled a baseline jumper with 12:05 remaining. Then, still without their best player, Rakim Sanders, the Eagles reverted to what are now their usual habits. From that point on, Boston College made just two field goals the rest of the way. Sound familiar? It should. Against Michigan, BC managed two field goals the final 12:45. But unlike the game in Ann Arbor where the Eagles still put up 12 points in the final 12 minutes, in Conte Forum they scored just six during the same span.
While the Eagles sputtered down the stretch for the third straight game, the Hurricanes capitalized. The U closed the game on a 22-6 run, lead by Malcolm Grant. Grant came off the bench and scored 11 of his game high 18 in the final seven minutes of play. He nailed back-to-back threes with just over three minutes remaining to slice the lead to two. The sophomore from Brooklyn then tied the game at 57 with 2:23 remaining when he cupped the ball in his right hand and scooped it into the basket. BC’s Reggie Jackson finally had an answer for Grant with a runner that took back the lead. Jackson, who also finished with 18, seemed to have ended the game after he dunked over Miami’s Reggie Johnson and a whistle blew. The 5,063 thought the Eagles would go up 61-57, plus Jackson would have a three throw. The call though, went against Boston College and Jackson was called for charging. Miami could not take advantage as Grant’s well ran dry, missing a three for the win. Jackson iced the game with two free throws.
The Eagles gained their 16 point advantage by being the much more physical team down low. The Hurricanes outscored the Eagles 28-22 down low, but BC grabbed 46 rebounds to Miami’s 21. Boston College’s physicality also lead to 25 trips to the line. The U shot six total free throws, giving the home team a 13 point advantage from the line. The Eagles should have this advantage in the paint again Wednesday when it hosts Harvard. It should also be a game Boston College can impose its will throughout the game.
Reggie Jackson – Finished with 18 points and and nine rebounds and seemed to be the only Eagle that could make a shot down the stretch.
Joe Trapani – Played 34 minutes and finished with five points and six rebounds while shooting 1-13 from the field.
:02.3 – Reggie Jackson hits two free throws to give the Eagles a four point lead.
23 – The number of offensive and defensive rebounds BC grabbed, two more than the total number of boards Miami corralled.
12 Minute Droughts – For the second consecutive game the Eagles closed the final 12 minutes of the game hitting just two shots from the field.