After a leisurely start for the Eagles, Jerome Robinson boosted the team’s momentum with a monster block 13 minutes into the first half, going coast to coast just a few seconds after hitting a jumper on the other end.
The Boston College Eagles moved to 2-0, routing the South Carolina State Bulldogs 91-52 in the teams’ first meeting. Despite the Eagles coming out slow in the first few minutes, the team held on to ultimately dominate a majority of the first half and the entirety of the second half.
“I thought we just played really unselfishly, the ball was really moving,” said head coach Jim Christian. “Some of the best possessions were when we didn’t score, but the plays were right. It was just a really good feel for where guys were, guys seeing and making plays. We’re playing the right way and that’s all I care about.”
Although this was only the second game of the season, the team appears to be meshing very well on the court, an improvement from Friday night's opening game. Ky Bowman dished it to Nik Popovic twice in the first half for two strong dunks. Jordan Chatman and Jerome Robinson moved the ball around well to get it to whoever was the hot shooter at the moment. No matter where you looked today, BC was on its game with a sense of togetherness.
On defense, the Eagles controlled the rebound game, notching 32 defensive rebounds on the day–an impressive following of the 37 defensive rebounds they had against Maine. Deontae Hawkins and Nik Popovic led the team with 10 and four defensive rebounds respectively.
Offensively, BC took smart and open shots, allowing them more time to focus on their shooting game. The Eagles went 31-64 for shooting, outshooting the Bulldogs by 16.3 percent. Even more telling of the offensive game, the Eagles shot for 44.4% from beyond the arc, displaying their ability to spread out and effectively get the ball to the open man.
“Jerome [Robinson] and Ky [Bowman] usually tell me, regardless of practice or warmups, to space out to make more room to drive and more room to shoot, so it was more open today,” said freshman standout Steffon Mitchell.
Mitchell, hailing from Shakopee, Minnesota, appeared to take the advice of two prominent leaders on the team, as he led the Eagles in points and steals Sunday, knocking down 21 of BC’s 91 points and snagging the ball three times from SC State. Considering he scored 17 points within 17 of his 23 minutes of play, his versatility on the court and knowledge of the game prove to be a lethal combination.
“He’s a good player. He gets a lot of hustle baskets and he played hard,” said Christian. “Really nothing he does surprises me, he just gets it. He just plays hard and he finished really well. He did all the other things that he usually does, too. He was great on defense, created a lot of extra possessions for us. That’s what he does.”
While Mitchell had himself a night, some other freshmen also showed favorable signs, most notably Avery Wilson and Luka Kraljevic. Wilson tacked on eight points in 14 minutes of play, six from the 3-point range. Krajlevic, towering at six feet 10 inches, demonstrated aggressive play at the board, totaling three defensive rebounds and one basket.
The Eagles look to move to 3-0 when they host Sacred Heart this Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.