Eagles Drop Second Straight

The Boston College men's basketball team dropped their second consecutive game last night, losing to #11 Clemson 87-77 at Conte Forum. The loss drops BC into seventh place in the conference, two games behind four teams bunch ahead of them in the standings.

For a second consecutive game Boston College let a first half lead crumble in the second half as they fell to the Clemson Tigers, 87-77. Boston College battled evenly for the first thirty minutes of the game, unfortunately for BC, it was those final ten minutes that allowed Clemson to pull ahead and ultimately win the game.

Clemson employed their full court pressure defense from the opening tip, but BC had success breaking it early on. Defensively the team did a nice job of switching on defense and hitting the offensive glass.

BC jumped out to a quick lead when Rakim Sanders scored the first five points of the game. Sanders was red hot in the first half and his back-to-back three-pointers evened up the score at 16 early on. Boston College took a 24-19 following a conventional three-point play from Courtney Dunn. Dunn provided some unlikely offense chipping in with a career high eight points, all of which came in the first half. Dunn's scrappy play was a key cog in the Eagles' strong first half performance.

Clemson re-took the lead with seven minutes to play in the half, but Tyrese Rice answered with a three-pointer to put BC ahead at 30-28. BC would close out the half with a 39-35 lead.

Clemson quickly retook the lead in the opening minutes of the second half. Clemson's full court pressure forced BC to inbound the ball into the corners, which made them vulnerable to the trap. Clemson forced Trapani to turn the ball over several times in a row, resulting in a quick 7-0 Tiger's run in a span of thirty seconds.

BC scored consecutive baskets to stop the bleeding and put them up by three with the score 47-44. Clemson's four consecutive free throws gave them a lead, before Rakim Sanders responded with a three-point play. Another three-point play by Trapani would put BC up 53-50 with 15 minutes to play in the game.

With the score tied at 57 and 12 minutes to play, Clemson's Terrance Oglesby sank a 3-pointer while drawing a foul. This rare four-point play by Oglesby was the turning point in the game. Clemson was able to take a 61-57 lead and they would not trail the rest of the game. His shot was part of a 12-2 run during a two-minute stretch in the middle of the half.

Within an instant BC's lead had turned into a 10-point deficit. The Eagles trailed 71-61 with less than nine minutes to play in the game.

A quick scoring flurry by Rice brought life back into BC, bringing them within four points at 75-71 around the six-minute mark.

However, Boston College failed to get a stop on the next possession when Clemson threw down a dunk just before the shot clock expired. Rice then threw the ball away under pressure on the following possession. The final dagger was delivered, not surprisingly, by Oglesby when he buried a wide open three with a minute and a half to play.

Oglesby proved too much for BC to handle in the second half. He scored 21 points, 18 in the second half, on 6-10 shooting from behind the arc. He drained several contested shots from well behind the three-point line that seemed to demoralize the BC squad and crowd.

In the final 10 minutes of the game, Clemson dominated the glass, earning second chance shots and preventing BC from getting the scoring opportunities they had in the first half. In the second half, Clemson's Raymond Sykes and Trevor Booker controlled the boards and easily manhandled the smaller and less athletic Tyler Roche and Courtney Dunn in the paint. These two players combined for 22 rebounds and grabbed 12 of Clemson's 20 offensive rebounds in the game.

Clemson got only five points from its bench, yet their entire starter lineup scored in double figures.

Rakim Sanders led BC with 23 points and eight rebounds, but he was conspicuously absent for much of the second half. He failed to score at all in the final 12 minutes of the game, and spent much of that time on the bench. When asked if Sanders was benched, Skinner shrugged it off responding, "We've got other players." Sanders may have been bothered by his wrist injury as he was seen grasping it late in the game.

Rice scored 17 in the losing effort. He was forced into taking some difficult shots late in the game as he tried to create offense for BC with Sanders, Raji, and Trapani on the bench.

Trapani and Raji played just 18 and 17 minutes respectively in the game. They combined for just 11 points, and each of them finished well shy of their season averages.

There was an unusually high 36 fouls called in this game. Rice fouled out for the first time in his collegiate career in the final seconds of the contest.

Skinner had little to say about the loss adding, "I'm disappointed about this loss, but there's another opportunity coming up." That opportunity would of course be the Duke Blue Devils. BC has a chance to bounce back and knock-off the #5 team, when they host them on Sunday. Boston College dropped to 6-5 in the conference, which is currently good for seventh place.

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