Boston College men’s basketball took down Sacred Heart, 73-53, Tuesday night. The Eagles went on a 25-8 run at the start of the second half to overcome a halftime deficit, taking a 20-point lead that lasted until the final buzzer.
Deontae Hawkins led the team on both sides of the court with 22 points, just two shy of tying his career-high, and and added eight rebounds. The graduate transfer from Illinois State was essential to the team’s spirited comeback after ending the first half down, 31-30. The 600-person crowd in Conte Forum gave its loudest cheer of the night when Hawkins retired to the bench with two minutes left in the game.
“That’s what winners play like,” said head coach Jim Christian. “He knows what to say to the team, then he goes out and does it.”
The Eagles (3-0) came out of the gate slow, quickly falling to a 13-5 deficit as the Pioneers’ fast-paced passing offense overwhelmed them. Hawkins blamed this on a lack of principles early in the game, remedied after a halftime reminder.
“Call the switch early if you need to call it, high hands, don’t lose sight of the ball, stay in your gap,” Hawkins rattled off. The Eagles’ surge coming out of the locker room reflected this return to basics as the team cleaned up its play and began forcing Sacred Heart to take riskier shots from the outside.
Freshman Steffon Mitchell came off the bench to net 13 points, third behind Hawkins and Ky Bowman, who finished the game with 14 points and seven assists.
Joseph Lopez and Mario Matasovic led Sacred Heart with 15 and 14 points respectively, and combined for 20 rebounds. The Pioneers dominated on offense in the first half, scoring 20 of their 31 points from the paint before the Eagles began picking up switches and pressing harder on defense in the second to limit SHU to four points in the paint.
Next up, the Eagles host Texas Tech at home Saturday, Nov. 18 at noon.
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