With just under four minutes remaining in the game, all seemed lost for the Eagles. Following an and-1 off the fingertips of star Louisville forward Deng Adel, the Cardinals pushed their lead to 18 and seemed to put BC’s upset hopes to rest. Adel, the unique NBA talent, finished with a team-high 18 points on 6-10 shooting from the field.
Nevertheless, a pair of free throws from Vin Baker Jr. and Nik Popovic on the ensuing possessions, followed by a clutch Steffon Mitchell three-pointer, ignited a scoring run for the Eagles.
A few minutes later, a huge Jordan Chatman three cut the Eagles’ deficit to just two points, polishing off a rapid-fire 20-4 run. Although Chatman was the only Eagle to play all 40 minutes, the experienced junior struggled from beyond the arc. Finishing with 12 points on 2-8 shooting from three, BC was simply not able to get enough offensive production from a key cog in their offense.
The Cardinals took care of business at the penalty stripe, converting each of their final six free throw attempts to ice the game away. Once again, Eagles fans were forced to find pride in the “moral victory.”
Similar to the heartbreaking losses against Virginia and Clemson, this marks the third time in ACC play that BC was handed a defeat after a late game run.
From the onset, Louisville’s length and athleticism proved challenging for the Eagles. Led by a pair of tall forwards, junior Ray Spalding and freshman Malik Williams, BC was not able to get any easy points in the paint. Nearly every pass, shot, and layup was highly contested, stifling the Eagles’ offensive rhythm. By the time the final whistle blew, 16 BC turnovers was simply too much to overcome.
Per usual, the star guard combo of Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman produced the majority of the Eagle’s scoring, combining for 35 of the Eagles’ 69 points. Robinson finished with a team-high 19 points on 8-16 shooting, while Bowman added another 16 points. Despite ending in double figures, Bowman needed 22 shot attempts to reach his final tally. Once again, the loss proved that BC needs every one of their key three guards to be in top condition in order to pull off a victory.
BC now sits at 13-7 overall and 3-4 in ACC play, while the Cardinals improve to a stunning 15-4 on the season, following a tumultuous start to their year.
The Eagles will look to even their record in ACC play on Wednesday when they take on Syracuse at the Carrier Dome.
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