Eagles Top Miami

The Boston College Eagles out-rebounded the Miami Hurricanes 46-21 en route to a 61-60 victory in the ACC opener. Miami entered the game with a perfect 8-0 record but was completely overwhelmed by BC on the glass. The result was their first loss and BC's first conference win.

Miami led early in the first half until Tyler Roche converted a four-point play when he sank a three-pointer as the shot clock expired, drawing a foul. Roche would add another three-pointer soon after to keep the score close. A scary moment occurred with about two minutes remaining when Reggie Jackson went up for an offensive rebound and landed on an opposing player. Luckily, the player appeared to brace his fall and Jackson was able to come down with the ball and draw the foul.

The Eagles initially struggled to penetrate Miami's 2-3 zone defense. The offense finally started clicking halfway through the first period, an adjustment coach Al Skinner attributed to "better ball movement". BC would close the half strong after Jackson's floater in the lane made the score 31-25 at the break. The Eagles led despite shooting just 27 percent in the half.

In the second half, BC quickly jumped out to a double-digit lead following an offensive rebound and put back by Corey Raji. Reggie Jackson hit a deep three-point shot to make the score 48-33. The lead was as large as 16 points when Jackson found Dallas Elmore in the corner for a three-pointer pushing the score to 54-38. Miami started to make their comeback with around seven minutes and change remaining in the contest. A pair of free throws brought the Hurricanes to within eight points, 55-47.

Boston College went over seven minutes without a field goal. According to Coach Skinner, "we got real tentative, both offensively and defensively... we started to play very relaxed." Miami guard Malcolm Grant nailed a three-pointer cutting BC's lead to 57-55 and following another BC turnover the Hurricanes tied up the game at 57 with two and a half minutes to play.

BC's Jackson would answer with a lay-up putting the Eagles back up by two. On BC's next possession, following an offensive rebound, Reggie Jackson drove to the hoop and soared towards the rim, poster-izing a Miami defender with the one-handed slam. The high-flying dunk proved to be for nothing, however, as Jackson was called for an offensive foul.

This gave Miami the ball back with 18 seconds and a chance to tie or take the lead. Miami's Grant took an ill-advised three point shot and Jackson once again came up with a huge offensive board. He was fouled and calmly sank both free throws to put BC up 61-57. As it turned out, those free throws were critical because Miami's half-court heave was good as time expired making the final score 61-60.

The offensive rebounding by Boston College proved to be the difference. BC grabbed 23 offensive boards compared to Miami's four. "Our wings are as good a rebounders as there are in this league," said Skinner. Raji and Jackson each had nine rebounds to go along with 17 and 18 points respectively.

After the game Skinner discussed his opinion of the charging call made against Jackson late in the game. Skinner noted the new "invisible cylinder" rule put in place this season, which is similar to what the NBA already has in place regarding positioning under the hoop for a defender. He thought that the rule, as interpreted by the book, should have called for a blocking foul there because of the defender's positioning under the rim. Despite the fact that the dunk was nullified, Jackson still said that this move was "probably number one on my memory list." Skinner was pleased that Jackson decided to take in the final minutes. "Late in the game he has always been aggressive and we need that."

Coach Skinner was hush on Sanders' potential return but he did note that the past three wins without him in the lineup "shows we are capable and our potential of the team." Corey Raji said that the team has received "a boost of confidence" by winning without their best player on the floor.

Next up for the Eagle's is Harvard at home on Wednesday at 7:00 PM. BC will be looking to avenge last year's astonishing upset.

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