Sports, Basketball, Men's Basketball

Eagles Fall to Hurricanes in Final Home Game of the Season

The final buzzer on Boston College men’s basketball’s 2021–22 home season rang out just before 11 p.m. on Wednesday night. While there was almost as much Miami orange in the seats as there was maroon and gold, BC’s seniors received an ovation as they walked off the court for the final time in Conte Forum.

Despite a fairly high-scoring offensive effort, BC (11–18, 6–13 Atlantic Coast) fell to Miami 81–70 on Wednesday night. The game was BC’s first matchup with the Hurricanes (21–9, 13–5) this season and one of Miami’s last games before it likely heads to the NCAA Tournament

The Eagles fell flat on both sides of the ball in the first half and trailed the Hurricanes 40–25 after the first 20 minutes. They struggled offensively, shooting just 38.5 percent from the field and 11.1 percent from 3-point range, but BC struggled most with stopping Miami’s Isaiah Wong. Wong finished the first half with 17 points and four rebounds.

“[Wong] is one of the top guards in this league, and you can’t really see the size and the speed on film,” BC head coach Earl Grant said in his postgame press conference. “He was a little more explosive than I thought, so he had a really good first half.”

Miami made 55.6 percent of its shots from the field in the first half and shot 45.5 percent from beyond the arc. BC outrebounded Miami 16–14 through the end of the half, but an 8–5 turnover differential favored Miami and canceled out BC’s success in the paint. 

“Our number one key was taking care of the ball,” Grant said. “Miami knows what to do when they get the steal—they lead the ACC in steals. … They turned us over for 17 points, which really was the story of the game.”

BC shot 60 percent from the field and performed better from beyond the arc in the second half, shooting 62.5 percent from 3-point range. BC also limited turnovers and fouls, restricting Miami’s easy points. 

After controlling the first half, Wong scored just 10 points in the second. The Eagles outscored Miami 45–41 in the half. 

With just over five minutes left in the second half, the Eagles had cut Miami’s lead to 10 points and were hot on offense. The crowd was engaged in the game for the first time since its start, and the players were fired up as well. 

A series of successful Miami drives and BC defects on offense, however, closed BC’s comeback window in the game’s final minutes, as Miami restored a double-digit lead. 

Makai Ashton-Langford finished with 21 total points, with nine coming from 3-point range on 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. 

“He had a really good game,” Grant said. “I don’t know what emotions might have been going through his mind, but he had a game to remember. … I’m happy for him.”

Ashton-Langford is one of four seniors on BC’s roster and is a Massachusetts native. He played at Providence for two years before joining half-brother DeMarr Langford Jr. at BC. Ashton-Langford still has a year of NCAA eligibility remaining, but it is unclear if he will play next season.

Featured Image by Nicole Wei / Heights Staff

March 3, 2022