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Wake Forest Dumps Eagles

BC Gets Worn Out Early, As Game Ends In Ugly Loss

Heights Staff

Published: Sunday, February 26, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

In a matchup of teams with only three wins in ACC league play, the Boston College men's basketball team faced Wake Forest on Saturday. The similarities ended there, however, as the Eagles were blown out by the Demon Deacons, 85-56 at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum.

It was BC's second worst loss of the season by margin of victory, and the 85 points they allowed were the most since giving up 86 at Holy Cross back in November. The Eagles' defense wasn't up to the task against Wake, as they allowed far too many easy layups and drives to the basket. The Deacons shot 55.4 percent on field goals, including 9-of-14 on threes.

"I think they just ran some stagger screens that gave us a lot of trouble," head coach Steve Donahue said. "Guys ran into screens, and unfortunately we just did not have enough ball pressure and resolve to get through screens. I thought they got a lot of open looks. I think mental and physical fatigue sets in and we just don't execute like we should."

The Eagles also gave up multiple baskets on fast breaks off of turnovers. BC had 15 for the game, including nine in the second half. A number of them were due to poor offensive execution, whether it was bad passes or traveling violations. On the whole, BC's offense never found a rhythm.

"We did not give them easy points off bad turnovers," Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik said. "That includes efficient offense—we did a great job of taking high quality shots and then we made them."

The Eagles started the game looking competent, getting out to a 14-11 lead eight minutes into the game. But Wake then proceeded to go on a 7-0 run, and the Eagles were down 38-29 at the half.

"Our pick and roll defense wasn't very good in the opening minutes of this game," Bzdelik said. "They were able to drive down the lane on us, and so we called a timeout and made some adjustments to our pick and roll defense."

Ryan Anderson once again led the Eagles offensively. Anderson was 8-of-11 from the field for 18 points and collected nine rebounds. He showed increased strength inside by grabbing offensive rebounds, going for the put-back, and driving often against the Deacons' defense. Anderson executed well the entire game, whether drawing the defense with a ball fake and then driving, or catching passes in the lane from teammates for easy inside points.

He finished 2-for-9 from the free throw line, however, and missed the first free throw of multiple one-and-ones that would have helped BC stay in the game. For the year, Anderson is at 76 percent from the line.

Lonnie Jackson continued his solid play of late, with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including 2-of-3 on threes. Excluding the Duke game when he was covered extensively by their guards, Jackson is 12-for-23 on threes going back to the FSU win. He showed deep range against Wake, and had a nice turnaround jumper for two.

On the other hand, both Matt Humphrey and Jordan Daniels continued to struggle. Since scoring 21 against FSU, Daniels has 16 points over four games, including only two at Wake. He had multiple open 3-pointers that were off, and only shot 1-of-5 from the field. The confidence in his shot doesn't seem to be there.

Humphrey missed six of his nine shots, and the majority of those came on failed drives. Humphrey often takes it himself inside, though recently those attempts have been missing. It's a good idea to penetrate the defense, but if Humphrey looked to pass more on his drives, he could most likely either find open teammates on a kick-out, or space the defense better.

"I didn't think their defense was that tenacious, to be honest with you," Donahue said. "I'm going to go back to mental and physical fatigue for us. With all those freshmen out there, we just weren't prepared for that type of stuff, and I thought Wake Forest really fed off of that with great energy."

Patrick Heckmann saw his first game action since being out for over a month with mono. He looked rusty on both the offensive and defensive ends, and finished with three turnovers and just three points in 16 minutes. But it was important to have him back on the court, and he showed flashes of some of the solid play he demonstrated earlier in the year.

Overall, this was a disappointing loss for the Eagles. They're now tied for last in the ACC with Georgia Tech, whom they face Wednesday at Conte in another battle between three ACC-win teams. BC needs to bring a better effort than it did on Saturday, a game in which the Eagles were thoroughly outplayed.

"Obviously, I'm not happy with our performance," Donahue said, "but I'll say that Wake played very good and with great energy. I thought they really competed better than us. They shared the ball on the offensive end and made it difficult on the defensive end."

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