With just under a minute remaining in the game, Boston College managed to recover the rebound from a missed North Carolina jump shot and pass the ball up to Ky Bowman on the fast-break. With a two-on-one advantage, Bowman found Chris Herren Jr. for the wide-open lay-up. Herren proceeded to put up an airball —a play that was a perfect representation of Eagles' game against UNC. Tar Heels came into Chestnut Hill and manhandled the Eagles, 79-66.
Though the final margin of victory for the No. 3 Tar Heels was only 13, the contest was not as close as the score would indicate, with the Eagles trailing by as much as 23 points within the final two minutes of the game.
BC started the game off hot, taking a 14-12 lead early in the first half. Ky Bowman could not seem to miss, draining a series of deep, often contested threes, including one from just in front of the half-court logo. The rest of the team, however, simply could not get on the same page. After Cameron Jordan converted a four-point play that gave UNC a 16-14 lead, BC appeared to become discouraged, allowing the Tar Heels to go on a 16-2 run.
This run would not even be the most lopsided scoring run of the half, as UNC would also go on a 20-3 run later on. The Eagles had nobody to defend Cameron Johnson’s smooth jumper, and Nik Popovic was not strong enough to defend Luke Maye in the post. That duo would put up 31 points in the first half alone, shooting an astounding 12-19 from the field.
Both Maye and Johnson slowed their scoring in the second half, combining for a just eight points. Maye was only able to convert one field goal on seven attempts in the half, largely due to the defensive contributions of Steffon Mitchell, who played lockdown defense on the senior big man.
BC’s biggest issue in the game was their inability to generate offense. While Ky Bowman put up 15 points in the first half, en route to a 23-4-9 final stat line, nobody else was able to generate anything on that end of the court. With players not named Ky Bowman going a combined 4-25 from the field, including 1-10 from Jordan Chatman, the Eagles simply didn't execute on offense.
In the second half, Popovic was able to take some of the scoring burden off Bowman. Popovic showed fans why he is the Eagles’ second leading scorer on the season, showcasing his full skill set of layups and post moves to produce an efficient 18 second-half points. While other Boston College players also exhibited signs of life in the second half, it was simply not enough to bring BC back into the game.
The BC defensive effort also improved in the second, holding UNC to 36% from the field and only 1-9 from three.
After falling to 14-15 on the season, the Eagles will rest up as they head into the tail end of their season. The game is not without significance to the Eagles, as it could be the difference between rising to the 10 seed or falling to the 12 seed in the ACC tournament next week.
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