It may not have been pretty but the BC basketball team made the shots when it counted on Tuesday night.
BC shot an uncharacteristically low 44% from the field and hit just 9-of-23 three-pointers at Conte Forum on Tuesday. But the Eagles didn’t let that slow them down against ACC foe North Carolina State, as BC knocked down a few big shots late for a 75-66 win over the Wolfpack.
The Eagles appeared to be headed for disaster after NC State forward Tracy Smith hit a big bucket to put the Wolpack ahead 60-57 with just under five minutes remaining.
But, on the next trip down the floor, BC senior Biko Paris set his feet and drained a huge three pointer, tying the game and sending the near 6,000 fans inside Conte forum into an uproar.
The Eagles hit two more three-pointers on consecutive possessions and star point guard Reggie Jackson iced the game from the free throw line, knocking down five big ones in the final minute to close it out.
Jackson keyed the offensive attack for the Eagles all night, leading all scorers with 29 points to go along with six assists and five boards. The junior from Colorado Springs, CO was aggressive attacking the basket early on and got his teammates involved down the stretch, helping the Eagles pull out their 13th win of the season.
Head Coach Steve Donahue praised Jackson for his efforts but added that it was really a team effort that got the win saying, “Reggie was so consistent throughout the whole night, everyone really stepped up when they needed to. They (the team) took a huge step in ownership of this team tonight.”
NC State was able to exploit BC in the low post for most of the second half, taking advantage of Eagles thin frontcourt with leading rebounder Joe Trapani on the bench in foul trouble.
Even with Trapani forced to watch most of the second half from his perch on the bench, the Eagles co-captain didn’t allow that to impact his game at all scoring nine points and grabbing a career high 12 rebounds in just 22 minutes of action.
Senior forward Corey Raji stepped up in place of Trapani making his presence known down on the blocks against those NC State bigs with 14 points and 8 rebounds in 32 crucial minutes off the bench.
Donahue was very pleased with the performance overall calling it BC’s “best win of the season” and referred to it as a great learning lesson for his team moving forward.
“I think it was great win for us because it was a grind. We had to come out and figure out how to not turn the ball over and still try to get good shots. And I think we did that for the most part,” Donahue said. “I thought we took a huge step tonight in figuring out how to win a basketball game when shots aren’t falling that easily.”
The Eagles improved to 13-4 on the season and 3-0 in ACC play with the impressive win on Tuesday night and look forward to a tough matchup at Miami on Saturday night.
(This article can also be found on the Patriot Ledger website, here: BC puts it together late in win over NC State)