Sports, Winter, Basketball, Men's Basketball

Eagles Top Louisville 89–77 for Fifth ACC Win

After Boston College men’s basketball suffered a one-point loss at home to Florida State last week, Quinten Post lamented the Eagles’ consistent predicament this season—playing from behind. Post said almost coming back “doesn’t mean anything.”  

The Eagles seemed to learn little from last week’s failed comeback, though, and entered halftime of their Tuesday night home matchup with Louisville in an eight-point hole, after giving up eight offensive rebounds and 16 points off turnovers in the first half. 

“The first half they were really physical,” BC head coach Earl Grant said. “They tried to throw it inside, they were making shots at the basket, they were offensive rebounding. It took us a while to really realize that hey, this is a physical game.” 

But this time, the final result was different for the Eagles, as a 20–1 second-half run propelled BC (14–10, 5–8 Atlantic Coast) to an 89–77 win over the Cardinals (8–17, 3–11). 

The Eagles’ fiery second half began with Mason Madsen, who thwarted a Louisville offensive board attempt and dribbled all the way up the floor, stopping for a pull-up 3-pointer that rippled through the net. The shot put the Eagles on track for a second half in which they outscored the Cardinals 50–30. 

Madsen was one of six Eagles to put double-digit points on the board. 

“Most years, I keep the same starting lineup the whole year,” Grant said. “This has happened to be a year where we’ve had different lineups. But the truth of the matter is we’ve got about eight starters.” 

Donald Hand Jr. provided a spark off the bench after not appearing in the lineup for BC’s last two games, picking up 10 points in the contest. 

About seven minutes into the second half, Hand rose up from the right corner, hitting a fall-away jumper over his defender off a pass from Jaeden Zackery, who recorded a team-high six assists. 

“[Hand] is huge for us,” Devin McGlockton said. “He came in, gave us a huge jump off the bench.”

Despite BC’s overall dominance through the second half, an 8–0 run for the Cardinals with 6:32 remaining cut the Eagles’ lead to six points and let Louisville right back into the game. 

Claudell Harris Jr. came to the rescue for BC, though, hitting a clutch 3-pointer to extend the Eagles’ lead back to nine points. 

“I definitely feel confidence taking the shots,” Harris said. “It’s definitely backed behind my teammates’ confidence in me. They find me when we do need big shots.”

Two minutes later, Zackery demonstrated his prowess as a shot-creator for his teammates. 

Zackery motioned to Madsen to get out of the right corner, then dribbled into the paint, running down the clock. Seconds later, Zackery delivered a pass to a wide-open Madsen in the left corner. Madsen buried the shot to give BC an 84–73 lead with 2:33 remaining. 

BC shot 60 percent from the field and 63.6 percent from behind the arc in the second half.

“Helping each other find good open shots, turning down a good shot for a great shot, making the one more pass,” Grant said of what contributed to BC’s win.  

Harris hit a stepback three with the shot clock expiring with less than a minute remaining that put the Eagles up 87–73 and delivered the exclamation point on the Eagles’ win. 

“I want us to continue to get better so that we get to a point where in March, we play our best basketball,” Grant said. “Hopefully we can win some along the way.” 

February 14, 2024