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A new year for the Eagles just brought the same problems of 2009: embarrassing loses to mediocre mid-major teams. In its worst performance of the season, Boston College lost at home to Maine 52-51. The loss to the America East foe is the fifth BC has suffered this season from a team not associated with a major conference. The Eagles are now 5-5 against mid-major conferences with struggles resulting from a lack of focus.
Against the power conferences, BC is 4-0 with wins against the Big East’s Providence, the Big Ten’s Michigan, in the ACC against Miami, and most recently handling the SEC’s South Carolina easily. In each of those games Boston College lost focus as well. The Eagles jumped out of the gate creating a double digit cushion in the second half. In all four contests though second half leads of at least 15 slipped into single digits down the stretch.
Against mid-major the Eagles never seem ready to play. They are not only losing to lesser conferences, but to teams that are not even supposed to be good. Rhode Island and St. Joseph’s were picked to finish 8th and 10th respectively in the Atlantic 10. In the Ivy League, Harvard was selected to finish fourth. Only Northern Iowa out of the Missouri Valley Conference was picked to finish in the top three of their league. The Panthers recieved 38 of 39 first place preseason votes to win the Missouri Valley.
Saturday’s loss to Maine is the worst on BC’s resume. The Black Bears entered the game with a 6-5 record and was picked to finish EIGHTH in its conference by the America East coaches. Maine had played two power conference teams, Syracuse and Connecticut, and lost by a combined 63 points.
Boston College took a 32-27 lead into the half. The Eagles seemed like they were about to put the game away early in the second after Joe Trapani, who had a game high17, nailed a three to put BC up eight. Maine would close out the last 15 minutes of play on a 19-10 run, finally recapturing the lead with 1:10 remaining in the game. Neither team scored the rest of the game.
Rakim Sanders had two opportunites down the stretch to get the win, but missed both shots. With four seconds to go Troy Barnies swatted away Sanders attempt at a layup. The win for Maine was its first since the 1924-25 season against Boston College.
The Eagles would seem to have a very good chance to rebound January 5 against New Jersey Institute of Technology. But the way BC has performed thus far against mid-majors, nothing is certain.
Sean McNally – Lead the Black Bears with 15 points and seven rebounds. He also drilled both free throws with 1:10 remaining to give Maine the win.
Rakim Sanders – Scored one point in the second half and missed both opportunites down the stretch to win it for the Eagles.
00:04 - Troy Barnies blocks Rakim Sanders’ attempt to win it for Boston College.
85 – The years since the Eagles last lost to Maine.
5-5 – Boston College is .500 against mid-majors this season.