After a 20-game losing streak, the Boston College Eagles defeated UMES and made a first step toward a more competitive basketball season
Twenty-first time is the charm. On Tuesday night, the Boston College Eagles defeated the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks 73-57. Playing the second game of the new season, BC was finally able to exorcise a spell that had prevented the Eagles from winning each of the last twenty games played, dating back to last December. In front of a small crowd of a few hundreds aficionados, BC displayed an overall good performance. BC played fast and strong right out of the gate, going to an early lead that forced UMES to call a timeout to stop the bleeding as the visiting team was trailing 22-9. In the early lead, put together thanks to a fast-paced offense pushed by Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman, it’s easy to see the hand of the coaching staff. The hole that the players found themselves in in the first half of the Nicholls State game, which ultimately condemned the team, must have been a valuable lesson that Coach Christian used to educate his players.
After the timeout, though, UMES came out with a much different energy, going on a 9-3 run that brought the visiting team within striking distance. With 5 minutes to play an offensive rebound converted into an uncontested layup by Dontae Caldwell brought UMES within five points, 29-24. While both teams were lackluster from beyond the arc, shooting a combined 7 for 20, UMES was unable to take advantage of the Eagles’ 7 turnovers and of their 9 fouls: from the charity line the Hawks connected only on 50% of their 12 tries. On the other hand, BC’s dominance of the paint was too much too handle for the Hawks, as told by the +9 on the boards for the home team. Johncarlos Reyes’ layup beat the buzzer for the 41-31 that ended the first half. Jerome Robinson led the Eagles with 11 points on a 5-for-10 effort.
The second half followed the same pattern. The Eagles pushed the ball down the floor, but the ball movement wasn’t as good and precise as it was before. Mo Jeffers’ early third foul made coach Christian recall the forward on the bench. Whether or not this majorly disrupted the game plan, from that point on BC scored only 5 points in the first 5 minutes, but again UMES was unable to rise to the occasion, scoring even less points, just 4, in the same span. The Eagles began to shoot more from three, but the results were meager. BC’s cheerleaders had a tough task in keeping the small crowed involved in the game and one of the assignments was called “tees for threes.” It required them to toss a t-shirt for every three pointer scored by the Eagles. One can assume that BC didn’t have to spend too much dollars on those maroon tees, as the home team made only 7 of the 23 attempts. A pleasant exception was AJ Turner, who connected on back-to-back threes that kept BC ahead of 15 points halfway through the second period.
The second part of the half was as sloppy as a mid-November game can be: the 30 combined turnovers say it all. But at that point the lead the Eagles had accumulated ws never threatened, as UMES never attempted a believable late comeback. With a little more than one minute on the clock, coach Christian pulled the plug on his best players, letting Connor Tava, AJ Turner and Mo Jeffers (who finished with a team-high 13 rebounds) watch from the bench as a short garbage time ended the hostilities. The Eagles go 1-1 and get ready to host Stony Brook on Sunday, hoping to keep savoring the sweet, yet so far unfamiliar, taste of victory.
FINAL SCORE: BC 73 – UMES 57