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A fourth tough loss in a row for the Boston College men’s basketball team casts a dismal light over how the rest of the season could go. On Tuesday night, BC lost by a score of 82-64 in their ACC-Big Ten matchup against Northwestern.
Both BC and Northwestern came into the game with .500 records. A losing record this early in the season is not a good look for the Eagles, who sat at 6-2 at this time last year. After December, BC is looking at a tough ACC schedule, facing top teams such as Duke and North Carolina.
The Eagles looked great right out of the gate, playing competitively at the beginning of the first half. A pair of free throws for Derryck Thornton put BC on the board first.
BC's attempt to replace some of Ky Bowman's offensive power has paid off in Thornton, as he has been consistently good for his first season as an Eagle. He put up a full stat sheet of 10 points, four rebounds, three assists, and three steals against Northwestern.
BC played high energy defense to begin the game, keeping Northwestern from scoring in the first three minutes of play. The Eagles transitioned well, and didn't let Northwestern into the paint as much as possible, and generally played tough.
CJ Felder created back-to-back scoring opportunities and was almost stripped of the ball on his third consecutive attempt, but was able to find Jairus Hamilton for a wide-open baseline three. The ball movement the Eagles generated was another high point for them in the first half.
Steffon Mitchell drained a three for a lead change and had not only the bench on their feet, but the crowd going crazy as well.
However, Northwestern snuck up on the Eagles as they began to find their way into the paint for some easy twos. From behind the arc, they found a rhythm and ended up shooting 45%.
A six-and-a-half minute scoring drought for BC translated into being on the wrong side of a 16-0 run. Northwestern took off from there, holding the lead for the rest of the game.
Hamilton finally ended the dry spell and sparked a seven-point run for BC, but it wouldn’t be enough to shorten the deficit.
Just like how many BC men’s basketball games seem to go so far this season, the first half was fairly competitive—at least for most of the time. However, the team fell apart in the second half, allowing a commanding lead for their competitors.
It looked like there could be a critical turning point for the Eagles’ confidence early on in the second half with some offense from Mitchell. He narrowly avoided a block on his layup and although he missed his foul shot, he netted a three-pointer seconds later. At this point, the point difference wasn’t too large to overcome.
Northwestern really started to pull away in the last ten minutes of play. All of a sudden, they led by 20 points, despite only outscoring BC by eight points in the second half.
BC would go on an 8-0 run toward the end of the game, but would still be down 12 points. Although the Eagles fought back and attempted to trim Northwestern’s lead, they never came quite close enough, whether it be their shots not falling or poor defense.
Northwestern sealed the game after BC gave up four easy layups in one minute—one after another—with two minutes on the clock.
This should’ve been a closer game, seeing as both teams were a mere .500 this early on in the season entering the game.
Now that the Steve Addazio era has ended for BC football, it could be time for Martin Jarmond to take a closer look at the Jim Christian era of BC basketball.
With this loss, the Eagles drop to 4-5 on the season so far. Their next matchup is a matinee 2 p.m. game at Notre Dame on Saturday, Dec. 7, where they will test their hand in their second ACC conference game of the season.