In a game that was closer than the final score indicated, the BC Men’s Basketball team lost their first game of the season to the 16th ranked Baylor Bears 84-74. Despite the Eagles' inspired performance, they were simply outplayed down the stretch and did not execute on either side of the ball in crunch time.
Ryan Anderson scored 25 for the Eagles, with 19 coming in the first half. Anderson’s stellar performance in the first two quarters kept BC in the game early and gave them a two-point lead heading into the locker room at halftime. Baylor’s Pierre Jackson played well for the Bears, tallying 31 points and going 10-15 from the floor. He also logged seven assists, displaying his versatility as a scorer and a distributor at point guard.
Defense proved to be the Achilles heel for Boston College due to fatigue and miscommunication throughout the second half. Late in the game, BC allowed a close four-point game to become a nine point deficit, a lead that Baylor held until the final buzzer. Boston College failed to make stops when it counted, allowing Baylor to cash in on a crucial three pointer and also could not keep up with the Bears while making their defensive rotations.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Eagles were not able to make jump shots in the clutch. BC missed six of seven three-point shots taken in the last 10 minutes of the game and freshman guard Joe Rahon missed all four treys he attempted in the second half. Ryan Anderson was held to just six points in the second half as Baylor’s defense began to focus on taking him out of the game.
In all, this was a pretty good showing by the Eagles. They held the lead going into halftime against a ranked opponent and proved that offense should not be a problem this season as they were able to put up points in bunches. Ryan Anderson solidified his position as the team’s star, a role he has filled since the departure of Reggie Jackson after the 2010-2011 season.
As the season continues, Coach Donahue will have to find a reliable second scoring option to supplement Anderson’s output and direct defensive attention away from the team’s leading scorer. BC’s defense will have to improve as well, especially down the stretch when fatigue becomes an important factor.
Going forward, expect the Eagles to be competitive in every game they play and don’t be surprised if they pull off a major upset or two.