Boston College won their second straight game, this one a 79-68 victory over North Carolina State. The win pushed the Eagles record to 15-and-6 and 3-and-3 in conference play.
The Eagles came out strong in the first half. BC took command of the game halfway through and went into the break with a 15-point lead. NC State rallied, but the Eagles righted the ship and re-established control midway through the second half to secure the win.
With the score knotted at 17, Tyrese Rice scored five points in a row. After a Wolfpack layup, freshman Dallas Elmore hit a three pointer to put BC up 25-19. It was Elmore's only basket of the game. BC was able to amass a double-digit lead in part due to a strong defensive half, particularly in the post, and great fundamental rebounding. The Eagles crashed the offensive glass hard and out hustled NC State for the ball.
The team managed to grab a total of 22 offensive boards in the resulting in many second chance buckets. BC pulled down 46 rebounds in the game to just 25 for the Woldpack.
Tyrese Rice and Joe Trapani combined to score the final 10 points of the half for the Eagles. With the clock winding down in the first half, Reggie Jackson put up an errant three-point attempt, but Joe Trapani was there to grab the board and get the put back before time expired. Boston College led by fifteen at the half, 42-27.
Rakim Sanders nailed a three coming out of the blocks in the second half to stretch BC's lead to a game high 18 points. North Carolina State then proceeded to make a furious comeback, scoring 16 straight points at one stretch, bringing North Carolina State to within 3 points at 47-44. Tyrese Rice was finally able to stop the bleeding when he swished an open three to make the score 50-44. After North Carolina State answered with a three pointer of their own, Reggie Jackson brought the crowd to their feet with a one-handed slam in transition.
When North Carolina State closed the lead to three points at 56-53 with 7 minutes remaining, BC countered by sinking six consecutive free throws. The nail in the coffin occurred with four minutes left when Rice found a wide-open Joe Trapani for three, which put BC up 67-58. Corey Raji capped off the win with a thunderous fast break slam with one minute left in the game.
Boston College was the victim of some unfortunate calls made by officials, much to the dismay of Coach Al Skinner and the home crowd. The officiating was inconsistent for the majority of the game and Tyrese Rice was hit with a technical foul mid-way through the first half after arguing over a non-foul call.
Unlike the previous game where BC collapsed under full court pressure, the backcourt had no trouble handling the Wolfpack's press. Tyrese Rice and Reggie Jackson were each able to, on several different occasions, dribble through the press and take the ball full court for the easy lay-up.
Corey Raji played one of the best individual defensive efforts we have seen all year. He managed to hold North Carolina State's Brandon Costner, who averages 15 a game, to just 6 points. Raji also hauled in a game-high 12 rebounds, including six offensive boards in the winning effort. His performance in the paint, combined with Trapani's 10 rebounds and Southern's seven were the main factor behind BC's 46-25 rebounding edge in the contest.
Tyrese Rice was the offensive star in this game. He had his entire repertoire working in this one. He hit threes, outside jumpers and also finished with his patented runner in the lane. Rice made several jaw-dropping circus shots around NC State's big bodies down low. Rice took control when BC's lead was slipping and he stepped up in a big way.
Rice also got help from Joe Trapani and Rakim Sanders, both of whom have come on strong of late. They each added 12 points, and Trapani notched his 6th double-double of the season. Reggie Jackson contributed 10 points as well. BC continued their hot free throw shooting as a team, going 16-19 in the game, which included a perfect 10-for-10 down the stretch.
This win comes at a crucial time for Boston College, as they look to regain the momentum they had before they dropped four straight games. "It really took us a while to recover from that loss to Harvard…We're a young team. We've got to regroup when we're going through that," said Coach Skinner.
Rice believes the team's struggles are behind them, "We've had our slide and I don't think we'll go through that again."
Next up for the Boston College Eagles is a trip down to College Park to take on the Maryland Terrapins on Tuesday night. Maryland is 2-3 in the ACC and coming off a 41 point thrashing at the hands of Duke.
Boston College beats NC State 79-68
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