It was business as usual for Boston College men’s basketball on Saturday—another day, another nonconference opponent, another career-high for Jerome Robinson.
The Eagles squeezed another scoring spectacle out of their star sophomore guard against Dartmouth, as Robinson dropped 27 points in a 88-70 win. Freshman point guard Ty Graves chipped in 13 points, including a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, in his best performance for BC since the home-opener.
For the first 10 minutes, the Eagles (4-3) struggled to pull away from the Big Green (0-6) and relied too heavily on Robinson to shoulder the scoring load. But when the ACC’s third-leading scorer went to the bench with a pair of fouls, the trio of Graves, Jordan Chatman, and Mike Sagay promptly stepped up to fill the scoring void. The second unit fueled a 12-2 run that extended BC’s lead to double digits while also giving Robinson a much-needed breather.
“If we can’t score off the bench, we won’t be able to beat teams,” Robinson said. “When they start scoring off the bench, it makes it even easier for the starters to score, too. We just find a little groove and keep scoring.”
Dartmouth kept within striking distance, though, thanks to a big day from forward Evan Boudreaux, last season’s Ivy League Rookie of the Year. Boudreaux entered the game ranked fourth in the conference in scoring with 17.2 points per game and first in rebounding with nine per game. To start the second half, he drilled a jumper, a 3-pointer, and then added a free throw to reduce the Big Green’s deficit to seven points. Boudreaux scored 10 points in the first five minutes of the second half to bump his total to 23, but that’s all he would get due to a controversial foul call.
With about 10 minutes remaining, Boudreaux attempted to swat away a Connar Tava layup and instead caught him directly in the face. After an official review, the foul was determined to be severe enough to warrant a flagrant 2 foul, resulting in an ejection. Without Dartmouth’s best player on the floor, BC’s 10-point lead turned to 20, and head coach Jim Christian even subbed in Gordon Gehan, a fan-favorite walk-on, for the final minute.
The Eagles looked like an entirely different team from the one that mustered 54 points in a loss to Richmond last weekend. After netting just four total bench points against the Spiders, BC’s bench trio of Graves, Chatman, and Sagay combined for 30 points. As a team, the Eagles shot 11-of-21 from downtown, a product of their quick perimeter passing. BC also tallied a season-best 23 assists, committed just 13 turnovers, and scored 20 points off of Dartmouth’s mistakes.
Once again, Robinson showed off his ability to score from anywhere on the court. He drained 4-of-7 attempts from 3-point range, some coming from the baseline and some coming from deep. He attacked the hoop, drawing contact and finishing through fouls as part of his fourth 20+ point game in the last five contests. The Raleigh, N.C., native even put his midrange shots on display, with off the dribble pull-ups and turnaround jumpers. At times, it almost looked too easy.
But the real storyline from Saturday revolves around everyone not named Jerome. The rest of the Eagles complemented Robinson’s scoring barrage with a balanced offensive attack, something they haven’t done in each of BC’s three losses this season. AJ Turner connected on 1-of-2 triples to improve his 3-point shooting mark to 45 percent, compared to 26 percent last season. Chatman was typically efficient, needing only seven shots to reach 12 points. Ky Bowman and Tava recorded six points apiece and played solid defense on the other end. Mo Jeffers had eight points on 5-of-6 shooting, including a pretty left-handed floater in traffic.
And, most importantly, the supporting cast gave fans a little more confidence that the Eagles won’t be playing 1-on-5 when the looming ACC schedule rolls around.
Featured Image by Lizzy Barrett / Heights Staff