The Three-Pointer: Eagles clipped by Hokies

January 23, 2010 - 1:26 pm
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With the ACC standings in disarray (North Carolina is second-to-last in the league thanks to a three-game losing streak), Boston College had the chance to make a jump into the top half of the league with a win Saturday afternoon at Virginia Tech. But Cassell Coliseum continued to be a house of horrors for BC since it joined the ACC, as the Eagles fell for the fourth straight time in Blacksburg, 63-62. Despite shooting 55 percent from the field and holding the ACC'€™s top scorer, Hokies guard Malcolm Delaney, to his third-lowest scoring day of the season with just 13 points, the Eagles could not close the deal. BC let a three-point lead slip away with under 30 seconds left. The final defensive possession, in which BC could not corral a loose ball after a blocked shot and Virginia Tech'€™s Dorenzo Hudson scored the game-winning layup, was typical of the Eagles'€™ day: They made plays, but not enough to win the game. The loss dropped BC to 11-9 overall, and 2-4 in conference play. Here are three things we learned from the narrow loss in Blacksburg. LATE MISCUES COSTLY With five seconds remaining, the Eagles still had a chance to win the game. Sophomore Reggie Jackson drove down the court but lost the ball off of a teammate'€™s foot before getting off a shot. It was a play that was a microcosm of BC'€™s struggles on the day. The Eagles finished with 18 turnovers, the seventh time in their last eight games that they had more than 10 miscues. In fact, the Hokies' nine-point halftime lead was largely a byproduct of 11 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, which led to 16 Virginia Tech points. The easy buckets coach Seth Greenberg'€™s team were able to get helped offset another poor shooting day for the team with the worst field goal percentage in the ACC, as Virginia Tech shot only 39 percent on the day. PRODUCTION OFF THE PINE While coach Al Skinner'€™s recent decision to move Jackson out of the starting lineup can be questioned, the BC bench has been impressive as of late. Since going back to his sixth-man role in the game against Duke on Jan. 13th, Jackson has helped BC'€™s reserves average almost 29 points a game. While Jackson, who has scored in double figures in six straight games, has led the way, others have produced as well. Sophomore Dallas Elmore had his best game of the season in the loss. Thanks to foul trouble for the starters, Elmore'€™s 29 minutes were the most he has played all season, and he was instrumental in bringing the Eagles back into this game. Despite averaging just three points over his last six games, Elmore tied his season high with 10 points and played great defense on Delaney, helping to hold the guard to just five second-half points. In all, the Eagles outscored Virginia Tech'€™s bench 30-5. SIGNS OF TOUGHNESS With Virginia Tech coming in at 14-3, with two of the losses to teams currently ranked in the Top 25, and the way BC has struggled as of late against teams not named Miami, there was some thought that the Eagles might be blown out in another ACC game. But despite going down by 11 points in the first five minutes and falling behind by as much as 14 points, Skinner'€™s team never quit. The Eagles had to work around foul trouble for most of the second half, as four out of five starters were saddled with three fouls with just under 10 minutes remaining. The foul trouble was particularly troubling for leading scorer Joe Trapani, who held to just six points and a season-low 19 minutesafter coming off a 31-point performance in the 79-75 win over Miami. Still, the Eagles were in this game until the very end and fell just short of picking up their third conference win.