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Ngan Tran / Gavel Media

Men’s Basketball Falls to Pitt as Late Rally Comes Up Short

The Eagles lost a nail bitter on the road thanks to a game-winner by Pitt's Ryan Murphy. BC held a lead as large as 14 points before collapsing in the second half, ultimately falling 74-72 and dropping their third straight game.

Inferior defense was the major issue of the night for the Eagles. They had a -22 scoring margin in the paint as Pitt scored a colossal 44 points in the paint.

The Panthers also won the rebounding battle by a narrow margin of 31-26 and hauled in a devastating 11 offensive rebounds. They scored 15 second-chance points from these opportunities.

BC played a solid game all around with an excellent shooting showing. As a team, they had a blistering shooting split of 48.1% - 41.7% - 92.3%. The Eagle's free throw percentage from the line was a season-high.

Five Eagles scored in double figures in a well-rounded scoring effort. Jay Heath was the standout for the Eagles with a team-high 16 points. He shot 4-7 from three-point range and dished out three assists as well.

Derryck Thornton led the team with seven assists, a season-high, to go along with 13 points. He did also have a team-high five turnovers, which was an issue for BC as a team. They turned the ball over a total of 15 times.

Jairus Hamilton was another key contributor for the Eagles. He shot a perfect 6-6 from the floor, also chipping in 13 points and a team-high six rebounds.

After Pitt jumped out to a 12-11 lead, BC answered with a 10-0 run to take a sizable lead halfway through the first half. Julian Rishwain and Heath hit back to back threes to cap the run.

Another big 9-2 run by the Eagles capped off by a Hamilton dunk brought the lead to a game-high 14 points in the closing minutes of the first half.

Pitt battled back to cut BC’s lead to just five at the half. The Eagles led 33-28 going into the break. However, the Panthers would quickly regain the lead after going on an 8-2 run over the first four minutes of the second half, taking a 38-35 lead.

The deficit continued to climb as BC found themselves down by 10 with 4:22 remaining as Pitt led 65-55.

The Eagles fought back with a late rally. Heath and Steffon Mitchell both hit massive threes as BC pulled within three. After intentionally fouling, the Eagles trailed by four with 31 seconds remaining.

Thornton scored back to back layups with ten seconds left after he and Hamilton stole consecutive Pitt passes out of the inbound.

Unfortunately, the Eagle's hopes for a miraculous comeback were crushed after Ryan Murphy stuck a game-winning jumper with four seconds left.

BC fell to 9-10 overall and 3-5 in the ACC with the defeat. They should leave with some signs of encouragement after the loss. The offense finally began to click, which is a great sign considering it came on the road.

The Eagles need to do a better job of keeping the momentum on offense and avoiding prolonged scoring droughts. Their consistency issues cost them their 14-point lead along with far too many turnovers.

BC will look to bounce back this Saturday as they return home to Conte Forum to face Virginia Tech. The Hokies are 14-5 (5-3 ACC) winning four of their last five games.

Follow @BCGavelSports on Twitter for the latest updates on Boston College athletics.

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