Sports, Basketball, Men's Basketball

Virginia Inches Past Eagles 72–68

Over the span of 40 seconds midway through the second half of its game against Virginia, Boston College men’s basketball had ripped away momentum and seemed ready to play spoiler against the Cavaliers for the second straight season. All it took was two consecutive Devin McGlockton alley-oops for Conte Forum to come alive, as the Eagles seized their first lead of the game with 12:52 left to play. 

Less than six minutes later, however, the Cavaliers nailed a three to knot the game up at 51 points apiece. A minute later, Virginia knocked another three down—then another one 40 seconds later. 

Just like that, the Cavaliers were ahead by eight with less than five minutes to go, a lead that proved insurmountable for the Eagles. 

“In terms of the game plan, we thought in order to win the game, one of the big keys was take their threes away,” BC head coach Earl Grant said after the game. “And we did it for the most part, but that patch in the middle of the second half really hurt us.”

That stretch of perimeter shotmaking paved the way for a final eight minutes in which the Cavaliers (21–8, 12–6 Atlantic Coast) did not miss a single field goal en route to a 72–68 victory over the Eagles (15–13, 6–11). 

“It’s funny how you make a few shots and then the floor sort of opens up,” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said. 

Virginia entered Wednesday night’s matchup ranked second to last in the ACC in total offense. In the opening minutes of play, however, it would have been easy to mistake BC for the Cavaliers’ offense. 

The Eagles needed nearly eight minutes to record their second field goal of the game. Even after its offense momentarily ignited midway through the first half, BC registered only a single field goal in the final five minutes of the period and headed to the locker room trailing 27–23. 

“[The Cavaliers] grind,” Grant said. “They run, they really make you guard, they screen you, they cut hard. And they got those shooters running off those pindowns and those low cuts and those flares. So on both ends of the floor, they’re trying to grind you, and they did a great job.” 

The middle 10 minutes of the ensuing frame featured both teams’ strongest haymakers. After a 7–0 BC run that included McGlockton’s pair of alley-oops, Virginia responded with an 11–0 run to establish an eight-point lead. 

The Eagles still had some gas left in the tank, though. Quinten Post took control, scoring nine straight points for BC and setting the table for a potential late-game rally. The 7-footer totaled a team-high 24 points on the night, 11 of which came off a perfect performance from the free-throw line. 

“He shot the free throws great, got to the free-throw line a lot and delivered there,” Grant said. “So he’s been an anchor, and I’m really happy of how he’s been playing basketball.”

Post’s performance would soon be negated, however, by the same late-game struggles that have haunted the Eagles many times this season

Down four points with 25 seconds remaining, Grant chose to put the ball in Mason Madsen’s hands—a sequence that ended in a held ball and 15 seconds burned off the clock. Madsen’s subsequent 3-point attempt found nothing but air, all but sealing the Eagles’ fate. 

“Mason—we brought him off the screen, see if he had a shot,” Grant said. “He didn’t have it, went post QP and he drove it. Luckily we got the jump ball back, but he drove in and I guess he slipped.”

With the loss, BC inched one step closer to falling back to .500. 

February 29, 2024