BC Rolled By Wake

Last night the Boston College basketball team found out something about themselves. That is, they are not in the same league as Wake Forest, despite the fact both play in the same conference.

The Boston College Eagles dropped their third consecutive home game, falling to Wake Forest by a score of 83-63 in front of a packed house in Conte Forum. This was Wake Forest's first ever victory over Boston College.

Wake Forest entered the game ranked second in the nation in the AP Poll, and they certainly looked like a team worthy of such a ranking. BC appeared to be overmatched in the first half, both physically and athletically. Wake jumped out to an early start and set the tempo early. The Demon Deacons ran up and down the court with ease, throwing lob passes and finishing with rim rattling dunks. In the first half alone Wake scored 32 points off of dunks and layups, most of which were uncontested.

BC's defensive struggles continued this game. Wake Forest was able to exploit mismatches and use their distinct size advantage to dominate the paint. For the game BC was outscored 54-22 in the paint and was outrebounded 38-27. Coach Skinner was not pleased with his team's lack of physical play, particularly in the paint.

"The problem I had was that we didn't show any physical toughness in the game. They ran the same play time and again and got easy shots," he said after the game.

Boston College had 16 turnovers in the game, including eight by Tyrese Rice.

Rice acknowledged his turnovers hurt the team, "If I have eight turnovers, I don't think we're going to beat anybody."

Coach Skinner echoed similar sentiments saying, "We just can't have our starting backcourt have 13 turnovers. That's unacceptable. We've got to correct that."

Jeff Teague led the way for Wake Forest with 29 points. The majority of his baskets came off fast break dunks and layups. His quickness off the dribble and ability to create around the rim gave the BC defense fits all night. Teague was the major reason Wake Forest led at the half 47-27, scoring 15 first half points. Al-Farouq Aminu, the sensational freshman added 15 points and 8 rebounds.

Josh Southern was outplayed in the post and did not have one of his better defensive games. He struggled to contain Chas McFarland and James Johnson. They combined for 22 points and 16 rebounds. Southern meanwhile scored 4 points, grabbed 2 rebounds, and committed 4 fouls in his 23 minutes.

The Eagles looked like a different team in the second half. As the pace slowed, Boston College was able to get into their half court sets and contain the high-flying Wake Forest attack. BC trailed by as much as 25 early in the second half, but continued to battle against this much more talented Wake Forest squad.

The Eagles received a spark off the bench from Biko Paris, who checked into the game for the first time around the 13-minute mark in the second half. Biko ignited a BC run by playing excellent full court pressure defense and adding seven points in his limited time.

Reggie Jackson scored only four points in the game, but filled the stat sheet with three steals, five rebounds, and two blocks. Jackson's energetic and aggressive defense ignited the comeback by BC. He also provided one of the few highlights offensively when he caught an alley-oop from Rice and slammed it down one-handed in the first half.

BC was able to cut the lead to 9 points at 64-55 after a Tyrese Rice three pointer with 8 minutes remaining, much to the enjoyment of the crowd. However, following a Wake timeout BC allowed a basket by Wake Forest's James Johnson (11points, 8 rebounds) and there were not able to convert on several opportunities on their following possession.

Rakim Sanders had one of his worst performances of the year. He scored just four points on 1-for-8 shooting and had five turnovers in the game, including a very poor inbounds near the end of the first half that really deflated the team. Sanders was never able to get into a rhythm offensively and was a non-factor on the defensive end. Raji played just 18 minutes and scored four points. Corey may have been hampered by the lingering effects of his groin injury that he sustained last week.

The inconsistency is a concern for Coach Al Skinner. "That's why it takes so long for a team to come together sometimes. We thought we were at that point, but obviously we're not." Boston College looks to bounce back on the road against Virginia Tech on Saturday. The loss drops BC to 13-5 on the year, 1-2 in the ACC. Wake Forest improves to 15-0, 2-0 in the ACC.

Of Note: Recently promoted head coach Frank Spaziani was announced at center court during a media timeout during the first half. Spaziani received a warm standing ovation from the crowd of 8,606 as he attempted to motivate the crowd to "get it going" for the basketball team.

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