Eagles Drop Second Straight

Boston College dropped their second straight at home at their first conference game of the season. The Eagles lost to Miami 77-to-71, giving the Hurricanes their first win at Conte Forum in a decade. The loss drops BC to 1-and-1 in the conference and adds another black mark to their tournament resume.

A suddenly struggling Boston College Men's Basketball team finished off a tumultuous week by falling at home to the Miami Hurricanes 77-71. In front of a large but quite Conte Forum crown of 7,623, the young Eagles lack consistency and failed to capitalize on many opportunities to turn back a Miami team that had not won at BC in over a decade.

"We have an idea of who we are," BC coach Al Skinner said. "It's not as well-defined as we need it to be. Our execution at times wasn't what we needed it to be. That's got to be corrected. And it will be."

After a back and forth 1st half that saw several different lead changes, BC went into the break trailing 38-33. BC fell behind early in the 2nd half trailing by as many as 8 points four minutes into the 2nd. The Eagles were able to stay in the game thanks to the clutch shooting of Rakim Sanders who hit 4 three pointers in the game and finished with 18 points. Reggie Jackson continued to impress in conference play by chipping in with 14 points, including 9-10 at the free throw line.

The problem offensively for Boston College was the team shooting. The Eagles shot a pedestrian 36% (20-55) and made only 33% of their three point attempts (9-27). Tyrese Rice had a game high 21 points and 8 rebounds, but was a meager 6-18 shooting from the field, which includes 3-12 from behind the three-point line.

Boston College managed to hold Miami's leading scorer and 1st team All-ACC selection Jack McClinton to just 12 points before he fouled out late in the game. However, the team's perimeter defense struggled, which allowed the Canes to hit 40% of their threes.

Miami used a balanced attack to keep the Eagles on their heels. They had 5 different players in double figures. BC was also unable to get big stops defensively, especially late in the game. Sanders provided one of the few defensive highlights of the game with yet another stellar block.

The Eagles had several chances to tie the game in the final minutes of regulation. With the team trailing by 3 points with a minute left, Miami missed a jumper but grabbed the offensive rebound and was able to score and extend the lead to 5 points. After Rice and Jackson each made a pair of free throws and Miami converted a layup, the Eagles were down by three with 30-seconds left on the clock.

Tyrese Rice then drove the lane hard, but was called for a questionable offensive foul, much to the dismay of the Boston College team and fans. Rice described it as a "bang-bang play"."

Coach Skinner was a little more critical of the officiating, saying of the offensive foul calls, "I learned it different I teach it differently." That was the second charge call of the game against Rice. Miami connected on 7 of 8 free throws in the closing seconds to put the game away.

One interesting observation from the game was that Skinner chose to play Tyler Roche down the stretch instead of Joe Trapani. Trapani struggled shooting 2-7 and finishing with just 8 points, well below his season average. Skinner played all 11-scholarship players on the roster in this game, perhaps trying to get some energy off the bench with Southern and Trapani unable to get their offense going in this game.

Corey Raji, perhaps the unsung hero of this team, played only 9 minutes in the game after sustaining what Coach Skinner said was a groin injury. No report on any possible timetable for his return.

This is the team's second consecutive home loss and almost assuredly will knock them out of the top 25. The Eagles fell to 13-4 on the season and 1-1 in the ACC. Boston College returns to action Wednesday night when the host #4 ranked Wake Forest at 9pm in one of the biggest home match-ups of the year.

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