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Ky Bowman leads all scorers with 26 points; four score in double-digits for BC
Back-to-back three-pointers by Ky Bowman to close out the first half woke up a struggling BC offense in the Eagles 74-69 win over St. Francis Brooklyn.
Bowman, who was honored before the game for joining the 1,000 point club at BC in last season’s ACC Tournament win over Georgia Tech, added a game-high 26 points to his career total.
The afternoon after Boston College hosted College GameDay for the first time in nearly a decade, the Eagles basketball team attempted to wake up a sleepy Conte Forum crowd by pushing the pace early. The shots, however, were not falling. Despite entering the half shooting a respectable 42 percent, BC was 1-of-8 from three-point range before Bowman hit to close the half.
“We’re a much better shooting team than we’ve shot from both the foul line and from three-point land,” Coach Jim Christian said. “But we have shown a maturity though to stay with it even though we weren’t shooting well.”
As the shooters have struggled at certain points in the first two games, other areas have improved over last season. The Eagles have committed fewer turnovers on offense and have played much tighter defense than the 2017-2018 squad.
This may be a larger indication of the changing DNA of a team that lost arguably the best pure scorer in program history in Jerome Robinson. It will take a team effort offensively to replace his 20.7 points per game, and the team may have to continue to rely on defense to win games.
Despite the stout defense, St. Francis still found ways to score. The Terriers knocked down seven three-pointers, many of them well-contested, in the first half. Jalen Jordan led all St. Francis players with 22 points.
An 11-0 run by St. Francis midway through the second half kept the Terriers alive just when BC was starting to pull away.
With 5:52 remaining and the game tied, Bowman picked up his fourth foul and exited for a few minutes, forcing BC into a three-freshman lineup led by Wynston Tabbs, Jairus Hamilton, and Chris Herren Jr. Bowman re-entered the game a few minutes later and made an immediate impact rebounding and finishing a missed BC free throw.
Hamilton and Tabbs again both showed flashes of potential that should have BC fans excited. Hamilton, despite not scoring at the volume originally expected, continues to be a physical presence on the boards. He just needs to improve his scoring touch and shake off the early-season jitters. Tabbs, who finished with 15 pounds, 14 of which came in the second half, can score at all three levels and is especially craft at the rim.
Herren, a freshman from Tabor Academy, made the most of his limited playing time as well. Herren is known for his shooting ability, knocking down 42 percent of three-pointers during his senior season, but he displayed a presence in other areas of the game, chasing down a loose ball off a rebound attempt and jumping a passing lane to almost force a steal.
The teams traded buckets and remained deadlocked until BC pulled back ahead with three minutes remaining thanks to steals on consecutive possessions, one by Steffon Mitchell and one by Bowman.
Hamilton replaced Bowman after Bowman fouled out in the game’s final minute, but free throws iced the game for BC.
Overall, four Eagles finished with double-digit point totals. Mitchell was the only member of the starting five not to crack double digits, but he did post a double-digit rebound total.
“If you’re not making shots, then you have to do other things to impact the game,” Coach Christian said. “And that’s kind of what Steff does.”
The Eagles improve to 2-0 on the young season, and BC returns to action Wednesday night against IUPUI at Conte Forum.