During head coach Jim Christian’s six-year tenure in Chestnut Hill, the Boston College men’s basketball team has struggled to find its defensive identity. However, three straight excellent defensive performances to start the season indicate that this year’s team will be different.
Boston College men’s basketball cruised past High Point to a 59-33 win, as the Eagles forced 29 turnovers—16 of which were steals. BC improved to 3-0 on the season, while High Point fell to 0-3. High Point’s 33 points were the fewest points BC has held a team to with Christian as head coach.
Steffon Mitchell scored 10 points, secured 10 rebounds, and had four steals. Jared Hamilton contributed a game-high 12 points on an efficient 5-6 shooting; Hamilton also had four rebounds and two steals.
“I liked the defensive intensity for the whole game,” Christian said. “It’s not easy to do. When you’re not making shots, it’s not easy to keep that intensity up the whole time, but we did it. That’s getting to be our identity.”
The Eagles held High Point to shooting a mere 25 percent from the field. Denny Slay scored 10 points off the bench for High Point and was the only Panthers player to score double digits.
After scoring 20-plus points in his first two games, Derryck Thornton struggled on Wednesday night, scoring seven points on 2-9 shooting. Thorton wasn’t alone in his shooting woes; the Eagles shot 35 percent from the field and had no luck from the 3-point line, hitting only three of their 25 attempts.
The Eagles scored the first 10 points of the game. However, High Point began to build momentum and closed the gap to 14-16 with six minutes to go in the first half. A strong defensive effort led the Eagles to close the first half on a 17-4 run, pushing their lead to 33-18.
BC held High Point to 0-11 shooting in the first 10 minutes of the second half. When the Panthers scored their first points of the second half with 9:28 left, the Eagles had increased the lead to 52-21.
This was the Eagles first of five straight games at home. On Saturday, Nov. 16, the Eagles will look to continue their winning streak when they take on Belmont in Conte Forum at 2 p.m.