Sports, Basketball, Men's Basketball

BC Caps Off Regular Season with 67–61 Win Over Louisville

A season ago, Boston College men’s basketball couldn’t overcome losing leading scorer Quinten Post to injury and dropped its final regular season game to Georgia Tech. 

This season, however, the Eagles (17–14, 8–12 Atlantic Coast) survived a limited Post—this time hampered by foul trouble—and emerged from their regular season finale victorious, knocking off Louisville (8–23, 3–17), 67–61, to take the season series. 

“Guys off the bench were able to step up, play to their character,” BC head coach Earl Grant said. “Obviously those guys don’t score it like [Post] and so they played within their character. They defended and rebounded and took care of the ball—that’s the biggest thing I was proud of. We were able to weather those storms.”

Less than two minutes into the game, Post recorded his second personal foul, forcing Grant to insert sophomore center Armani Mighty in his place. The Eagles played undaunted by Post’s absence in the ensuing minutes, rattling off a 12–1 run to take a 17–5 lead by the first half’s 13:56 mark. Claudell Harris Jr., who scored 10 points in the first half, was instrumental in unlocking the Post-less offense. 

“QP’s a great player, great offensive player, but when he’s out we just have to work harder to get good shots,” Harris said. “That’s all it is, so that was our focus. And, you know, me as a scorer, I feel the responsibility to put the ball in the basket.”

Louisville wouldn’t go away, however, and strung together a 9–0 run, prompting Grant to call timeout with 1:32 left in the first half. 

“The message was ‘Take a deep breath,’” Grant said. “Because it was self-inflicted wounds. We got sped up and we got out of character, because they pressured us, their crowd got into it.”

BC, as it would go onto do the rest of the game, responded. Harris beat the first-half buzzer with a side-step three to put the Eagles ahead 41–31 at halftime. The Charleston Southern transfer registered a team-high 18 points—his highest scoring total in nearly a month. 

“It feels good,” Harris said. “It feels good to be trusted by my teammates, be trusted by my coaches, to—even through the bad games—still give me opportunities to redeem myself.”

The Cardinals whittled BC’s lead down to four, just 2:07 into the second half. But the Eagles again shot back with a 12–0 run, with Harris responsible for five of those points. 

“Really just focus on slowing our pace down,” Harris said of his team’s responses to Louisville’s runs. “Knowing to get good shots, getting our feet in the paint, and really just clamping down on defense.” 

After trading buckets in the middle portion of the second half, the Eagles limited the Cardinals to just a single field goal in the final six minutes of play. But as Louisville’s offense largely disappeared, so did BC’s. 

The Eagles scored one point in the last four minutes of the game, but did just enough to stave off a late Cardinals’ rally and scrape out the victory. 

After losing four straight games, the Eagles have now picked up back-to-back road victories—a strong show of resilience as the squad now looks to the ACC Tournament on Tuesday, according to Grant. 

“We’ve been hardened,” Grant said. “We played against some teams that beat us up. Obviously we had a tough patch. We lost consecutive games coming into the final stretch, and so I thought those games—we learned from that adversity. Our character and our perseverance grew through the adversity. And so only two things gonna happen—you either gonna fold your tent or you’re gonna show character. And I thought our guys showed character.”

March 9, 2024