Despite a valiant second-half comeback Wednesday night, men’s basketball (9-12, 2-6 ACC) fell to the University of Miami (13-6, 3-4 ACC) in a nail-biting 78-77 loss.
For Coach Jim Christian's team, the story was the same for most of the game. A combination of early turnovers, ill-advised mid-range jump shots, and poor three-point shooting (1-for-6 to start the game) allowed the Hurricanes to jump ahead to a quick double-digit lead. Miami thrived on a well-balanced and up-tempo offensive game plan, with senior Davon Reed-- who averages 15.4 points-per-game--leading the way early on. The Eagles’ stars, Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman, continued their recent offensive struggles, combining for merely 7 points for most of the first half.
With Robinson and Bowman struggling early, AJ Turner proved to be the team’s catalyst. Turner, a six-foot-seven sophomore guard, sparked the Eagles’ stagnant offense with a deep three-pointer, cutting Miami’s lead to 30-18. A coveted four-star recruit from Mount Clemens, Michigan, Turner has been largely been overshadowed by Jerome Robinson for the past two seasons. Nevertheless, Turner carried the load for the Eagles early on, and finished with 15 points including 3 three-pointers. Turner’s play became infectious for the team, as Robinson picked up the slack and hit two free throws to cap a 7-0 run to close out the first half.
With the lead cut to 30-22, the Eagles continued to channel their confidence into the second half. Another deep three-pointer from Turner cut the lead to five, but the Hurricanes picked up the pace and continued to pull apart BC’s zone defense with their own efficient shooting. As the Eagles resorted to their bad habits, Miami went ahead by as much as 17 points in the mid-second half. But the Eagles refused to back down, and crawled back to make the game a thrilling March Madness-esque show of a game.
Jerome Robinson, who had a resurgent second-half en route to a 27-point performance, nailed a three-pointer with ten-seconds remaining to cut Miami’s lead to three. With a steal from Jordan Chatman, the Eagles got the ball back with 6.4 seconds remaining. The Hurricanes elected to immediately foul Ky Bowman, who went only 1-for-2 at the line, leaving Miami with a 76-74 lead. After Miami knocked down two free throws, Robinson raced down in transition to sink another three for the Eagles as the buzzer sounded. The final score read 78-77 Miami. Robinson’s shot merely padded the stats, but the message was clear. The Eagles were that close to pulling off a remarkable comeback.
Following Wednesday night’s game, the Eagles now have thirteen consecutive road losses against ACC teams. On the other hand, Miami’s win gave them their 22nd win out of its last 23 home matchups.
With a promising performance against a tough Miami team, the Eagles need to find a way to put together a complete game. BC will pursue its 3rd ACC victory in 2017 this Sunday as they face Virginia Tech (15-4, 4-3 ACC) in Blacksburg, Virginia.
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