The Eagles entered Sunday night with a six game losing streak. Combine that streak with a norovirus affecting over half of the team, and you get a rough couple of weeks for Jim Christian’s young squad -- making the 91-60 win over University of Maine just what the doctor ordered.
Despite a huge final margin, BC didn’t win this contest without facing a little adversity. Dennis Clifford picked up two fouls in the first two minutes, forcing Christian to turn early to Idy Diallo, who proceeded to pick up two fouls of his own in 58 seconds. This forced the Eagles to go very small very soon.
Instead of letting this mess up their game plan, Christian made the necessary adjustments and BC shined. With 5 perimeter players on the floor, the Eagles decided to push the pace, running in transition even after made baskets. Their smaller line “really enabled us to stretch the floor,” said Christian, something the Eagles struggled to do at Providence.
The star of the night for the Eagles was AJ Turner. BC has been waiting for Turner to really flash the talent and athleticism that made him one the highest ranked recruits to choose Chestnut Hill in years. Against the Black Bears, he truly shined and showed why he was so highly ranked.
Turner finished with 11 points, coming on three huge highlight dunks, but it is was his play off the ball that impressed his Christian. “There is probably nobody I talk to on the team more than [Turner],” said Christian. He emphasized the importance for Turner to be a full threat on the court, rather than just focusing on jump shooting. He finished with six rebounds, two blocks and two steals to go with his 11 points.
Christian also talked extensively about the play of Eli Carter, who flirted a triple-double against Maine. Carter's early season play seemed to resemble that of Olivier Hanlan in his early games last season. They shared many of the similar struggles, before Hanlan went on to finish First Team All-ACC; so Christian decided to have Carter learn from his predecessor, and show him the similarities in their early play. In fact, Christian pointed out the numbers are nearly identical. The tape must have worked because Carter finished with 16 points, eight boards and nine assists.
Aside from one run in the middle of the first half that cut the BC lead to three, this game was pretty much decided at the jump. When you shoot over 50 percent from the floor---BC finished at just under 54---it seems like a victory is in the bag. Combine that with nearly 45 percent from long range and you get the 31 point blowout that happened Sunday against Maine.
Christian shared that his goal each night is for the team to finish with 20 assists; they finished with 24.
Clifford and Diallo only played a combined 24 minutes, but chipped in 18 points in that time.
Coach said that the walking boot on Johncarlos Reyes’ foot is due to a stress fracture.
Steve Perpiglia ripped off five points in three minutes of stellar work at the end of the game.
The Eagles next matchup will be against The University of Delaware, this Saturday at 7 p.m. in Conte Forum.
Follow @BCGavelSports on Twitter for the latest updates on Boston College athletics.