IUPUI bullies BC on the boards, hands Eagles first loss of season
By Mark Niu
With 10:18 to go in the second half, BC might have begun to feel the void left by Jerome Robinson’s departure to the NBA.
Boston College Men’s Basketball team (2-1) suffered a shocking loss at home against Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (2-1), 76-69. BC was outscored by 13 points during the second half while allowing 16 offensive rebounds and shooting only 65.5% from the line.
Jordan Chatman led BC with 20 points while freshmen Wynston Tabbs contributed 15 to go along with Ky Bowman’s 14 points and 9 rebounds.
BC entered the game with a 0.250 3-point FG percentage but enjoyed a fantastic 7-of-12 shooting from the parameter in the first half before quickly falling off and making just 1-of-9 in the second half. More importantly, the discrepancy of performances from the line between the two teams was staggering: IUPUI had a solid night shooting 20-of-25 from the free-throw line, including a 13-of-13 from junior guard Camron Justice, while BC had an off night at the line, shooting 19-of-29.
Early on, BC struggled to move the ball effectively on offense as most shots had to come off of long dribbles by Ky Bowman and Jordan Chatman. On the other end of the court, IUPUI utilized endless screens on the perimeter to create a mismatch before attacking the paint, which clearly disrupted BC’s gameplan on defense.
BC was able to adjust quickly on defense while Bowman and Chatman were able to continuously hit contested parameter shots and led BC on a 18-5 run midway through the first half. However, the Jaguars returned the favor by having a 18-9 scoring run of their own, sparked by Justice and sophomore forward Elyjah Goss, to close the gap to 4 points. BC established its footing again afterwards with contributions from Steffon Mitchell, Tabbs and Jairus Hamilton to head into the locker room leading 42-36.
It certainly seemed like the 15-minute halftime break cooled off the Eagles as the second half belonged to the Jaguars. Again led by Justice, IUPUI was able to erase the gap and take the lead with 10:18 to go in the second half, 56-55. During that span, BC’s offense was filled with turnovers and misses, managing only 3 FGs.
From there, the game turned into a dogfight as the game saw 4 lead changes within 6 minutes with neither team pulling away. Justice, who had a game-high 29 points despite hitting just 2-of-12 from deep, shined again for the Jaguars as he scored 5 points to give his team the biggest lead they had during the game, 72-66, with 1:40 to go. Tabbs gave BC a chance, hitting 3-4 free-throws to pull BC within 3. However, an improbable Nick Rogers 3-pointer as the shot clock ran out was the final blow that IUPUI needed to put away the game with 29 seconds left in regulation.
The problems of BC’s offense were on full display tonight; with Jerome Robinson gone, opponents can now focus on shutting down Bowman, the leading scorer for the Eagles. Admittedly, this gave the fellow guards of Chatman and Tabbs more room to operate tonight, combining for 35 points.
Nonetheless, when nobody was hitting perimeter shots, which was the focal point of BC’s offense, BC now lacked a cavalry to take over the game and score during make-or-break situations. Being this early in the season, coach Jim Christian still has time before starting ACC play to look at his team’s offensive scheme and make the necessary changes to better support players like Bowman and Chatman in creating open looks during clutch time.
Up next, BC will fly down to Fort Myers, Florida to participate in the Inaugural Fort Myers Tip-off Basketball Tournament as they hope to rebound from this loss. Tip-off against Wyoming is at 9 p.m. on November 19.