Down four points with under three minutes remaining in regulation, DeMarr Langford Jr. rose up for a dunk attempt. But instead of flushing it down, Langford Jr. came up just short—an uncharacteristic error for the sophomore guard.
After three long days, Boston College men’s basketball appeared to have run out of steam.
But a quick BC rally knotted the game up at 65 points apiece, sending the Eagles to overtime for the second consecutive day.
Miami prevailed in overtime, however, scoring a buzzer-beating layup to stave off a BC team hoping to play spoiler. With the 71–69 victory, No. 4-seed Miami (23–9, 14–5 Atlantic Coast) eliminated No. 13-seed BC (13–20, 8–15) from the ACC Tournament and ended its season.
“We fought so hard,” James Karnik said after the game. “I’ve been saying—and I’m not trying to say I’m a fairytale believer—I believed we were gonna win this championship. … We had the guys to do so.”
Quinten Post opened the scoring for the Eagles with a scorching 10-point start on 4-of-4 shooting. The 7-footer began the game with back-to-back 3-pointers. But Isaiah Wong—who torched BC for 27 points in the teams’ last meeting—responded to ignite the Hurricanes’ offense.
Despite some misguided shot selection by BC near the end of the first half, offensive rebounding provided enough second-chance opportunities to keep the game close entering the second half, with Miami up 34–32.
“We had it where we wanted it, in terms of our tempo [and] our plan,” head coach Earl Grant said. “I thought we did a good job of making them play our game.”
Neither team could pull away in the second half, but a 13–2 run by BC midway through the period pushed its lead to six and put the Eagles on the verge of delivering the knockout blow.
In the ensuing minutes, Miami took over. The Hurricanes went on a 9–0 run to reclaim the lead, holding BC scoreless for nearly five minutes.
A clutch Jaeden Zackery 3-pointer tied the score at 65–65, but 16 seconds remained for one final Miami possession. The Hurricanes failed to get a shot off, though, as a BC steal led to a desperate half-court heave from Brevin Galloway that barely missed the net.
While the two teams traded baskets in the first half of the overtime period, the final 2:30 was much more quiet.
Scoreless over two minutes, BC possessed the ball with 33 seconds to play. After shaving 20 seconds off the clock, Makai Ashton-Langford drove into the paint, spun, and launched, coming up just short.
Miami’s Sam Waardenburg controlled the rebound and flipped the ball over to Charlie Moore. Before even crossing half court, Moore lofted a pass over the heads of the BC defenders and into Jordan Miller’s waiting arms. Just as time expired, Miller converted the game-winning layup, leaving the Eagles stunned in defeat.
“Surreal,” Karnik said. “I just couldn’t believe it, honestly. I saw him leaking out and I saw him opening, but just in my mind, I was like ‘No, there’s definitely not enough time. … Something’s going to go our way because we fought so hard.’”
The loss closed the book on Grant’s first season leading the program—one full of progress, according to Karnik.
“[Grant] did an amazing job coming in from [his] first year,” Karnik said. “There [were] days where I just didn’t want to come to practice just because of the culture that was set [last year], but that was unacceptable with Coach Grant. So I just really have to commend him—he did an amazing job, and I loved playing for him.”
Featured Image by Nicole Wei / Heights Staff