Photo courtesy of Boston College Men's Basketball / Twitter

Men's Basketball Sneaks Past DePaul, 65-62

In their road matchup against DePaul, the Eagles were playing from behind from the very start. In fact, they didn’t hold a lead for nearly the entire game—Wynston Tabbs finally put BC ahead with a free throw with just 35 seconds left in the game. The Eagles came away with a gritty 65-62 victory.

DePaul led the game for 38 out of the game’s 40 minutes, but the Eagles were able to take over when it mattered most. Down by eight with five minutes to play, BC finally started to make some shots during crunch time to come away with a win.

The first true road matchup of the year saw a difficult shooting performance from the Eagles. Fortunately for BC, DePaul didn’t fare much better. BC shot 40% from the floor, while the Blue Demons made just 37% of their shots from the field. The Eagles went 3-18 from beyond the arc.

In the end, the difference came down to free throws. Wynston Tabbs and Nik Popovic both hit key free throws to put the Eagles ahead and eventually ice their lead within the last minute of the contest.

Tabbs and Ky Bowman, however, struggled for much of the game. They both went 5-15 from the field. With Jordan Chatman still out with an ankle injury, it seemed as though the DePaul defense had neutralized the Eagles’ backcourt duo.

Popovic was forced to lead the charge on offense. He finished with a team high 19 points and went 5-5 from the charity stripe. Chris Herren Jr. also chipped in 10 points, including a key three pointer that cut the DePaul lead to three with four minutes to play in the game.

Herren Jr., who was awarded a scholarship by Head Coach Jim Christian after the team’s practice two days ago, played major minutes for the second straight game. With Chatman out, he earned another start, posting nearly 30 minutes.

Steffon Mitchell, coming off of the bench after missing the last game due to injury, added a spark for the Eagles with his high-intensity defense and rebounding. BC was being thoroughly out-rebounded for much of the game, but Mitchell was able to close the gap and solidify the Eagles’ interior defense, recording a team-high nine rebounds.

DePaul got off to a hot start, jumping out to an early 20-11 lead. Overall, despite poor shooting and rebounding, the Eagles’ defense kept them in the game. Yet, BC scored the final eight points of the first half and cut the lead to just four heading into halftime.

Max Strus led the way for the Blue Demons with 16 points. DePaul, who now sits at 8-3 on the year, won the rebounding battle, 47-40. Though they were better on the glass, the Blue Demons were unable to close out the game on their home court in the final minutes.

A number of DePaul turnovers, including a miffed in-bounds pass with 36 second to go, allowed the Eagles to take over the game at the very end.

With sharpshooter Jordan Chatman sidelined for the third straight game, most of the Eagles’ scoring output came from their starting five. The five starters accounted for 59 of the team’s 65 points. Ky Bowman never left the floor, playing all 40 minutes. He finished with 11 points and 8 rebounds.

Transfer Jared Hamilton also saw his first minutes of the season after having to sit out during the first semester due to NCAA transfer rules. He logged 14 minutes and added four points.

BC now sits at 9-2 on the season with just one game to go before they hit ACC play. They traveled to Chicago and came away with a huge victory. Despite missing one of their normal starters and facing a difficult shooting performance from their best player, the Eagles fought hard to bury a talented DePaul team.

BC will return to Chestnut Hill for a matchup with Hartford on New Year’s Eve at 1 p.m.

Follow @BCGavelSports on Twitter for the latest updates on Boston College athletics.

Comments