BC Basketball Opening Night Recap
By Matt Marasco
If tonight’s opening night game was any indication of the way the rest of the season will play out for Boston College’s men’s basketball team, the program is definitely on the upswing. The Eagles cruised to an easy 85-65 win over the University of Maine Black Bears in the first game of the Naismith Hall of Fame Tournament. The game never felt close, despite the fact that UMaine stayed within striking distance in the first half. In fact, UMaine was up 12-6 early on, but BC quickly battled back thanks to two huge blocks from Nik Popovic. After a nip-and-tuck half, BC carried only a 35-28 lead into the break. The Eagles, though, went on a run to start the second half, capped off by a Ky Bowman transition three pointer to put Boston College up 12, and they never looked backed. The Eagles got into the bonus early, and the game quickly slipped away from UMaine. BC stretched its lead throughout the second half, going up by as many as 22, ensuring that UMaine could not come back. In the end, it was Bowman again who hit a dagger three from the wing to all but ice the game for the Eagles with under two minutes to play.
Throughout the course of the night, it became readily apparent that the Eagles were simply bigger, faster, and more athletic than the Black Bears, and BC took advantage. It was an all-around dominant performance, as the Eagles led in nearly every statistical category. BC won the rebounding battle 51-32, field goal percentage 48.5-35.6, turnovers 8-11, and blocks 5-2. When asked after the game about these numbers, Coach Christian was ecstatic about the rebounding margin, as well as holding the Black Bears to 35.6% from the floor, saying “If you can hold a to 35% shooting and out rebound them the way we did we will do well.” However, the coach was not without his criticisms, saying “We settled for too many quick threes in the first half. We were more patient in the second half.” This was certainly true, as it was only when Eagles settled into their offense and started taking the ball to the rim did the pull away.
Everyone on the BC sideline contributed to the win, highlighted by Bowman and Jerome Robinson leading the offensive attack, with 18 points a piece, and Deontae Hawkins contributing a double-double with a dominant 13 points and 15 rebounds. Johncarlos Reyes chipped in 12 points, Jordan Chatman 11, with Popovic, Vin Baker Jr., and Steffon Mitchell rounding out the scoring with seven, four, and two points respectively.
While it is important to never take away too much from an opening night game, it is clear that BC is a very long, athletic team with multiple guys who can stretch the floor and create matchup problems. If the intensity level and hustle of tonight continue throughout the rest of the season, BC will be in a position to win games, no matter who may be on the other side of the floor.