Quick Hits: Hurricanes Clobber Eagles

March 4, 2012

By Stephen Sikora

With a win Saturday at Miami, the Eagles had an opportunity to capture the nine seed in the ACC tournament and severely damage Miami’s chance to make the NCAA tournament. Instead, Boston College was dominated on both ends of the court in a 77-56 loss in its regular season finale. Here’s what transpired:

Poor Offensive Execution

The Eagles turned the ball over 17 times Saturday. The most egregious example of this took place when they were down 25-18 with nine minutes left in the first half. The Eagles turned the ball over on three possessions in a row, opening the door for Miami to pull away. Jordan Daniels and Dennis Clifford combined for 11 turnovers, including multiple mishandled passes. Late in the second half when the game was out of reach, Daniels had the ball stolen on the inbounds pass. At that point, all head coach Steve Donahue could do was smile.

The offensive movement that has given BC a chance in some of its ACC games once again was not there Saturday. The ball stayed around the perimeter for most of the game, and when the Eagles did drive they were often rebuffed. Ryan Anderson, usually one to lead the Eagles, shot only 2-of-9 from the floor and continued his struggles from the free throw line, making 2-of-6 from the charity stripe. Lonnie Jackson, who has combined with Anderson to lead the Eagles in a number of games, also had an off day. Jackson barely got open all game and had five points in the contest. He was 2-for-6 from the field, including just 1-of-5 from beyond the arc.

Defense Not Up to the Task

In the first half and for much of the second, the Hurricanes seemed to have their way with BC’s defense. Miami put up 46 points in the first 20 minutes, shooting 61 percent from the field including 9-of-17 from the three-point line. In a stretch eerily reminiscent of BC’s loss against Maryland, the Hurricanes went on a 16-1 run midway through the first half that sealed the Eagles’ fate. BC gave Miami far too many open looks from outside, and the Hurricanes knocked them down with ease. BC often doubled center Reggie Johnson down low, which opened up the floor for Miami’s perimeter players.

Daniels Continues to Shoot Well; Humphrey Joins Him

Following his breakout 21-point performance in the Eagles’ upset win against Florida State, Daniels had been mostly silent on the offensive end. The last two games he’s come alive, knocking down 6-of-11 threes for a combined 20 points. It looks as if he has the confidence back in his shot, which is good news for the Eagles as they try to pull off an upset in the ACC tourney. A couple of his threes at Miami came on deep pull-ups when the defense played off him. Daniels can fire from way out there, and when he’s feeling it he’ll knock those down.

Meanwhile, Matt Humphrey had a solid performance coming off of a tough second half against Georgia Tech. Humphrey led all players with 16 points and four steals, and paced the Eagles with three assists. Humphrey shot 6-of-12 from the field and only had one turnover, putting together one of his best games of the season.

ACC Tourney

The next game of the Eagles’ season is potentially their last. As the 12 seed in the ACC tournament, they’ll face either Miami, Clemson or NC State. BC beat Clemson earlier in the year and have played NC State close, their last game against them being a five point loss. Meanwhile, Saturday marked the second time the Eagles have lost by over 20 against Miami. Hopefully things play out so the Eagles can avoid the Hurricanes; they’ll have an increased chance to finish the year with double-digit wins, as they now sit at 9-21 for the season. 

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