Boston College men’s basketball lost to Miami 80-76 in Miami on Friday night. The Hurricanes came out energized for their senior night, seemingly controlling the game from the tip.
Coming into this game, Boston College was 2-10 in ACC play while Miami was 3-15. If the Eagles won, they would swap places in the ACC standings. Given the result of their previous matchup, in which BC won 84-62, and the fact that Miami was playing short-handed due to several injuries, the Eagles had to like their chance to give Scott Spinelli his second victory as head coach. However, they could not overcome a slow start to the game.
Thanks to a season-high 27 points from Kameron McGusty and very solid defense, Miami was able to close out the Eagles. Their defense was able to keep the Eagles’ leading scorer, Jay Heath, to 10 points.
After a slow start to the game, the Eagles finally scored their first bucket, a jumper from Jay Heath, with 16:24 left on the clock. However, the Hurricanes were not able to take advantage of this slow start as they did not shoot well from the floor in the first half.
In the first half, neither team could pull away. They both went 2-11 from three-point range. The biggest lead in the first half was only seven points by the Hurricanes, which the Eagles were eventually able to cut to three before the half ended.
The second half began with much of the same. Both teams struggled to get in rhythm until late in the game. Miami was finally able to find its shooting stroke, hitting several jumpers, capped off by a three-pointer from Isaiah Wong with eight minutes left in the game to put the Hurricanes up by nine.
Just as the game looked like it was about to get out of hand, the Eagles made a big push to take their first lead of the game thanks to some solid defense. After Jay Heath hit a three, Kamari Williams followed it up with two of his own to tie the game at 66 with under five minutes remaining. James Karnik then made a pair of free throws to give the Eagles their first lead of the game with less than four minutes left.
As quickly as the Eagles gained the momentum, they lost it thanks to the late game surge from Kameron McGusty. With his team trailing by two points, McGusty went on a 7-0 run by himself, giving the Hurricanes a lead that they would not give up.
In the final minute, the Eagles could only hope the Hurricanes would miss free throws in order for them to have any chance. Unfortunately for them, the Hurricanes hit enough free throws to ensure that the Eagles would not have any last-second heroics.
The biggest factor in this game was the excellent defense that the Hurricanes played on the Eagles best scorers. They did not let Jay Heath have any space to shoot, which led to his 2-10 shooting from three and 4-16 shooting overall. However, this allowed the senior James Karnik to have his biggest game of the season, scoring 15 points.
BC will now look towards its next opponent, 10-seed Duke, in the first round of the ACC tournament Tuesday. BC lost its previous matchup at Duke this season by one point.
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