Boston College men's basketball came back from a 13-point deficit to defeat California 64-60 at the Chase Center in San Francisco on Saturday evening.
While Jairus Hamilton notched 18 points to snag the game’s MVP title, the court really belonged to Julian Rishwain. The freshman exploded in the second half, starting with a pair of back-to-back threes that shifted the tide of the game towards Boston College. Ten of Rishwain’s 12 total points were scored within four and a half minutes in the second half.
Steffon Mitchell scored just seven points but contributed heavily on defense with six rebounds and three key steals. The junior’s and-one started the Eagles’ comeback in the second half before Rishwain turned on his jets, bringing BC back into an 11-point game.
The Golden Bears controlled the game in the first behind guard Matt Bradley, who led Cal with 21 points. A 12-0 run solidified the Bears’ lead while the Eagles struggled on defense, racking up eight fouls in about as many minutes.
BC’s offense was sloppy, giving up 14 points to the Bears off of turnovers. On defense, the Eagles struggled to keep their matchups out of the paint—and once the Bears were inside, they always managed to find the net.
After going down by 13 in the first, BC chipped away at their deficit and entered halftime only trailing 39-36. Matching field goals from Jairus Hamilton and freshman Jay Heath coming off the break alluded to a more energetic half, but the Eagles were quickly buried by a Cal run. Later in the half, however, BC went on their own 17-2 run to even the score and eventually pull away.
In addition to their offense, the Eagles’ defense came alive in the second half, forcing 11 Cal turnovers. Heath contributed six steals and eight points off of turnovers within the last 20 minutes of play.
The game was the second of four in the Basketball Hall of Fame Al Attles Classic, which honored the former Warriors player and coach, who was in attendance at the team’s new Chase Center.
BC will look for their fifth straight win on Tuesday, Dec. 31, when they travel to Durham, NC to take on No. 4 Duke at 6 p.m.