Three days after Boston College men’s basketball hit a season-high 12 3-pointers in a victory over Virginia Tech, the switch flipped completely. During the Eagles’ Saturday afternoon game against No. 22 NC State, it was the Wolfpack who posted 15 3-pointers, tied for its own season high, leaving BC completely helpless on the defensive end.
“It’s one thing to shoot em, take em with a hand in the face, but to make em over and over again, you gotta credit the talent that they have and the confidence they played with,” BC head coach Earl Grant said.
NC State (20–6, 10–5 Atlantic Coast) used its fiery offense to finish the first half strong and come out of halftime without missing a beat, propelling the Wolfpack to 92 total points in the game. BC (12–14, 6–9) dropped 30 points in the second half, while NC State scored 48 en route to a 92–62 Eagles loss.
“We didn’t have the step and the energy,” Grant said.
The Wolfpack accumulated 44 first-half points—the most points BC has let up in a first half all season—and its 92 total points is the most points BC has let up in a game this season. The 30-point differential is also the largest loss the Eagles have suffered this season.
BC hit four 3-pointers on 14 attempts in comparison to the Wolfpack’s 15, as the Eagles committed 17 turnovers and failed to run their offense and find open spots.
“They really pressured us, and then the maturity that we have to have with the ball under duress, we didn’t have it at the level that we needed to have,” Grant said. “So they were forcing us to make the guy with the ball take the shot a lot. So there wasn’t many opportunities for the kick-out threes.”
Quinten Post quickly matched his points average on the season of 16.5 by notching 16 first-half points. But it was a tale of two halves for the 7-footer, as Post attempted zero 3–pointers and totaled only four points in the second half.
“I think they did a good job of sandwiching him with both big guys so he couldn’t pick and pop for the three’s,” Grant said of NC State’s adjustments.
Post was no match for NC State’s Jarkel Joiner and Terquavion Smith, who combined for 43 points—47 percent of the Wolfpack’s total. DJ Burns Jr. and Casey Morsell registered 18 and 16 points, respectively.
Smith initiated the scoring barrage, scoring the Wolfpack’s first 10 points to put them up 10–5 at the 16:35 mark in the first half. Smith and Joiner shook off any BC defender thrown their way, using their elusiveness and pure skill to shoot over the defense.
Burns used his massive frame to bully BC—especially Post—down low, totaling 10 points in the first half.
But Post’s first-half dominance kept BC within distance. NC State had trouble guarding Post’s one-handed hook shot, and a Post layup and Jaeden Zackery free throw cut the Wolfpack’s lead to 38–32 with 1:45 left in the first half.
Zackery—who didn’t start for the first time all season due to a leg injury he suffered against Virginia Tech—added eight first-half points with a physicality that the Eagles lacked in the second half.
“We wanted to give him a shot at playing,” Grant said of Zackery. “I thought he gave us a good lift.”
Grant has said numerous times this season that the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half are the most important moments in the game. With NC State closing the first half on a 6–0 run via two Joiner 3-pointers and starting the second half outscoring BC 13–4, the Eagles certainly failed in that respect.
Amid the run, Post attempted a dunk that failed miserably, as he hit the front of the rim with an open lane, sucking the life out of Conte Forum and injecting embarrassment into the air for BC fans.
The Wolfpack used their early second-half runs to go ahead 57–36 at the 16:03 mark, taking their largest lead of the game at the time, and never letting BC get within fighting distance.
“Typically, we win that middle eight,” Grant said. “Just couldn’t do it tonight.”
Chas Kelley III, a reserve point guard who recorded a career-high 17 points against Virginia Tech, continued his impressive play in the second half to keep BC within a 20-point deficit range.
Kelley registered all seven of his points in the second half, but BC could not stomp on the Wolfpack’s offensive parade. Consistent defensive breakdowns didn’t help, as NC State continued to find wide-open shooters behind the arc who forced BC to pay. The Wolfpack hit nine 3-pointers in the second half alone and capitalized on every one of them in their victory.
You must be logged in to post a comment.