Sports, Basketball, Men's Basketball

BC Falls to Louisville After Delayed Start

Riding the momentum from Saturday night’s comeback win against Clemson, Boston College men’s basketball arrived at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. looking to add another road win to its resume. 

But, when 7 p.m. tipoff arrived, there were no basketball players on the court, as a leak in the arena’s ceiling left water dripping on the hardwood, delaying the game. 

“It was weird,” head coach Earl Grant said in his postgame press conference. ”Fifteen minutes before the game, right before I usually talk to them that last time before they go out to warm up, they said ‘Hey look, the game’s delayed.’ So, we sat in the locker room for an hour. … We didn’t know what the situation was, if the game was canceled or if it was going to be played.”

After more than an hour-long delay, tipoff was reset to 8:13 p.m., and the game went on. Ultimately, momentum from a previous win wasn’t enough for BC (7–9, 2–4 Atlantic Coast), which fell 67–54 to Louisville (11–7, 5–3), ending the Cardinals’ three-game ACC losing streak. 

Once both teams were given the go-ahead to play—and a Louisville assistant manager was tasked with making sure further leakage didn’t occur—it was a neck-and-neck contest from the get-go. Frequent lead changes characterized the first half, with neither team securing a lead of more than six at any point during the opening 20 minutes. 

After leaving the first half up by two, the Cardinals came out hot in the second half, knocking down two 3-pointers in the first four minutes. Louisville stayed ahead for the entirety of the half, expanding its lead to as many as 16 points before ultimately walking away with a 13-point win. 

“We just lost our composure a little bit,” Grant said. “We lost our composure and poise. We’ve just got to understand how to make good decisions, and I think the team has grown. I think the team has made a lot of strides. We just didn’t see it tonight in our play. ”

Makai Ashton-Langford and T.J. Bickerstaff led the scoring for the Eagles with 22 and 12 points respectively. Bickerstaff also added 15 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. 

The Eagles struggled to finish at the rim, ending the night shooting 29.2 percent from the field and 20 percent from three. Louisville’s second-half surge stemmed from 48-percent shooting. After shooting 14.29 percent from behind the arc in the first half, the Cardinals improved to 45.5 percent 3-point shooting in the second half. 

As the clock ran down, the Eagles walked away—over three hours after the original tip off time—with their sixth road loss of the season. 

“I just thought that the game was even all the way through,” Grant said. “We’ve just got to continue to mature offensively, and we’ve got to continue to believe we can win these games, because there was a lot of things we did well, but our expectancy and our belief has to be higher.”

Featured Image by Nicole Vagra / Heights Editor

January 23, 2022