Sports, Winter, Basketball, Men's Basketball

Eagles Crumble Against Wake Forest, Drop Third Straight

Three days ago, Miami blew Boston College men’s basketball off its home floor with scorching 60.4 percent shooting and 12 made 3-pointers.

On Saturday night, it was Wake Forest’s turn to torch the Eagles’ offensively. The Demon Deacons set Conte Forum ablaze with 10 made 3-pointers.

“Our defense failed us,” BC head coach Earl Grant said. “We got to be better, we got to be more connected.”

It wasn’t just its defense, however, that caused an early deficit for BC.

With the Demon Deacons (13–5, 5–2 Atlantic Coast) clogging BC’s passing lanes and smothering its shooters, the Eagles (8–10, 2–5) couldn’t buy a bucket to open the game, going 1-of-6 from the field in the first five minutes en route to a 85–63 loss.

Wake Forest, one of the ACC’s most prolific offenses, made BC pay for its offensive woes, piling up points in transition along with 11 second-chance opportunities. 

Down 13–6 early, Grant turned to Devin McGlockton to be the Eagles’ spark, as he often has this season. 

The redshirt freshman—who leads the ACC in scoring (7.1) and rebounds (4.8) per game among those without a start—helped BC pull within two points of the Demon Deacons.

Wake Forest continued to pour it on from beyond the arc, however, leaving the Eagles with no answers defensively. By the first half’s 5:55 mark, BC trailed by 13 points, forcing Grant to call a timeout. 

“We didn’t get what we needed to get,” Grant said. “We turned it over a couple of times, and that’s how their runs happen.”

The timeout couldn’t slow the bleeding, as the Demon Deacons—amid a 14–0 run—scored five straight to push their lead up to 18 points. 

But the Eagles weren’t quite dead yet. 

Led by CJ Penha Jr., BC slowly clawed back into the game and closed out the half on a 9–2 run. 

Down 10 points, the Eagles’ comeback hopes suffered a major blow just over a minute into the second half, after Jaeden Zackery picked up his fourth personal foul. The sophomore guard had led the way for the BC in the first half, scoring a team-high seven points on 2-of-3 shooting. 

Zackery wasn’t the only Eagle in foul trouble. Quinten Post, who made his return to the starting lineup on Saturday, was called for his third foul just seconds after Zackery’s. With Post and Zackery on the bench, Grant inserted true freshmen Armani Mighty—who had only played a combined five minutes against ACC opponents entering this game—and Chas Kelley III into the lineup. 

Trailing 52–41 at the 14:44 mark, BC let up a 12–0 Wake Forest run, which all but shut the door on the Eagles midway through the frame, despite Mason Madsen knocking down two 3-pointers. It’s the first time Madsen has made two or more 3-pointers since Dec. 10 against Villanova.

“I think he will realize, you know, this level…it’s a little tougher than what you think as far as a freshman,” Grant said of Kelley. “I’m glad he was able to get out there and get that experience. 

Adding to BC’s struggles, Makai Ashton-Langford limped to the bench with his team down 18 points. 

“He stepped on somebody’s foot, tweaked his ankle,” Grant said. “So, I think he’ll be fine.”

As fans headed for the exits with 3:34 left to play, the Demon Deacons became the third team to drop 80 or more points on the Eagles this season.

“We got to watch the film and try to figure out what exactly happened,” Grant said. “It ain’t never as good as you think it is and it ain’t never as bad as you think it is.”

January 16, 2023

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