After trailing North Carolina for nearly an entire game, Boston College men’s basketball had cut its deficit to 50–47 with just under four minutes to play. But once again, BC went cold in the game’s final minutes.
BC (8–11, 3–6 Atlantic Coast) missed its next six shots and fell to North Carolina (14–6, 6–3) for the second time this season on Wednesday. It was a defensive battle the whole way, but the Tar Heels found the edge to remain perfect at home with a 58–47 win.
Winning on the road has been a struggle for BC, and its loss in Chapel Hill brings the Eagles to 1–6 in away games this season.
“It was a great atmosphere with a lot of blue,” head coach Earl Grant said in his postgame press conference. “It’s the kind of environment as a player that you want to play in. I thought our guys did a great job being poised.”
While the Eagles shot 1-of-16 from 3-point range and attempted just eight free throws compared to the Tar Heels’ 25, BC kept the game close the whole way.
Despite their shooting woes from behind the arc, the Eagles executed on the defensive side of the ball, holding the Tar Heels to 29.1 percent shooting from the field. BC shot 33.3 percent as a team, an improvement from its 25.4 percent shooting performance against Wake Forest just two days prior.
An emphasis coming into the game was limiting the deep-post touches of the Tar Heels’ two big men, Armando Bacot and Brady Manek, according to Grant. The Eagles did just that, holding Manek to seven points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field.
Bacot came into the contest leading the Tar Heels with 16.8 points per game on a conference-best 60 percent shooting, but BC held him to just 1-of-10 shooting from the floor. Bacot’s shooting performance ended his 10-game double-double streak.
With many shots coming off the rim, there were plenty of rebounds to go around. Eighteen of the game’s 82 total rebounds went to Bacot, while T.J. Bickerstaff nearly matched that total for BC with a career-high 17 boards.
Junior center Quinten Post was the only player in double figures for the Eagles, scoring 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting.
Wednesday’s contest was the Eagles’ third game in five days, which Grant said took a physical and mental toll on his players.
After taking a hard fall in Monday’s loss to Wake Forest, Makai Ashton-Langford, BC’s leading scorer, was notably quiet Wednesday, scoring four points in the contest.
“From last Saturday to today we went 1–2, but I know we’ve gotten better because of what we’ve been through,” Grant said. “We got to learn from it, and as we go through the season we’ll find some strength.”
Featured Image by Aditya Rao / Heights Staff