Olivier Hanlan got to the hoop and was fouled. He went to the line and hit his free throw. It capped a 12-0 BC run, cutting No. 20 Virginia’s massive lead, which at times doubled the Eagles’ points total, to just seven points. The problem for the Eagles is that the Cavaliers’ lead was at one point 21. BC was down by 19 at the break.
Digging holes and then filling them back up is what this team does best-in fact, the Eagles won the second half against Virginia. Unfortunately for the ACC’s second-worst basketball team, it’ll fill up about three-fourths of the ditch and then run out of gas.
If the Eagles were in the movie Holes, they would be at the top of the warden’s list.
But they are not-they are in one of college basketball’s best conferences.
After falling 77-67 on Wednesday night for its eighth straight time against teams not named Virginia Tech, it became clear, if it wasn’t already, that Steve Donahue’s team is not struggling any more-it’s floundering.
While Virginia might have the best defense in the country, limiting opponents to just 55.5 points per game coming into its battle with BC, the Eagles’ performance was dreadful despite shattering that average.
The Eagles missed 3-pointer after 3-pointer in the first half even after Lonnie Jackson gave the Eagles a brief one-point lead in the game’s opening minutes.
As a team, BC missed nine straight triples in the first half, before Jackson bailed his side out with another one from behind the arc. Jackson’s shot pulled BC within 13 just before the under-three minute mark in the first half. The deficit was too big.
Donahue’s team kept putting up poor shots from a distance and looked afraid to work the ball inside, even though when it did, it worked.
Ryan Anderson put up 20 points on the night, as Joe Rahon and Hanlan were able to get the ball down low to the big man. When he was able to make a quick move or just go straight to the hoop, he was bound to score, but when he took too much time, the home team’s presence in the paint was too much for him.
Outside of Anderson’s offensive production, though, he failed to recover the missed shots of his teammates. BC’s big man pulled down seven on the night, but other than him, the Eagles were sprayed with Windex by their ACC opposition and wiped clean from the glass as a result.
Anthony Gill matched Anderson’s rebound production but did not lead his team for the night, as that title belonged to sophomore guard Malcolm Brogdon. Brogdon ended the evening with a double-double, accompanying the 17 points he dropped on the Eagles with 11 boards.
BC’s biggest problem was boxing out-something it has done sparingly all year. It is something that is taught at the game’s lowest levels. Even though it takes a bit of extra effort, it keeps the other team from chasing its missed shots. Virginia did it and the Eagles only came up with three offensive rebounds. BC didn’t and UVA finished the game with 12. Those recoveries led to 18 second-chance points, compared to the Eagles’ three.
With a sizeable lead throughout the game, the Cavaliers had the luxury of going on cruise control in the second half before BC began to make shots.
Hanlan, who failed to score in the first half, was able to influence the game in the next period. He began to attack the rim and found a bit of confidence from to help the team come close, but his 14 points would not be enough to topple the ACC’s hottest team.