The Boston College men’s basketball team defeated Wake Forest 77-70 in its first game of the 2019-20 season. The Eagles were led by their all-new backcourt of graduate transfer Derryck Thornton and freshman Jay Heath, who combined for 41 points.
BC was dominant on the defensive end in the first half, forcing 10 turnovers and scoring 12 points off of said turnovers. The Eagles held Wake Forest’s experienced backcourt of Brandon Childress and Chaundee Brown to a combined 1 of 12 from the field in the first period.
The Eagles, on the other hand, only turned the ball over once before halftime. They were very balanced on the offensive end, with eight different players recording first half points.
However, it wasn’t all good for the Eagles in the first half. Starting forward Jairus Hamilton landed awkwardly, suffering a knee injury, and did not return to the game. They were also out-rebounded by seven.
Wake Forest was much more effective in the second half, led by its point guard Childress, who ended the game with 24 points, of which 21 came after the half.
Thornton and Heath were huge for the Eagles down the stretch, consistently finishing over the Demon Deacon bigs at the rim. Wake Forest got as close to seven points before Thornton’s free throws all but put the game away.
Jairus Hamilton’s brother Jared was also injured in the second half of the game, and he too did not return to action. Coach Christian indicated that his injury was not new, and that this ankle injury is something that he has been dealing with since last season.
Heath, C.J. Felder, and Julian Rishwain contributed big time for BC. Coach Christian spoke to their impact and the challenge they faced. “It’s very difficult to be a freshman and play in your first game. It’s even more difficult if your first game is an ACC game…They played with great effort. Every one of them bought into what we were doing.”
The Eagles lost a significant amount of their production from last season, with Ky Bowman moving onto the NBA, Jordan Chatman’s graduation, and Wynston Tabbs’ season-ending injury. To offset those losses, the Eagles will need contributions from the freshman class, and tonight the newcomers delivered.
The Eagles will travel to the University of South Florida to play their first away contest on Sunday.
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