The Boston College Eagles returned to Conte Forum on Wednesday night and the Columbia Lions were the opponent. This was the second year in a row and the third meeting all-time between the schools.
Paced by three players in double figures, the Eagles improved to 7-2 with an 82-73 win over the Lions (3-7). Boston College would have to play this one without one of their senior leaders as Jordan Chatman sat this one out with a sprained ankle that was suffered in practice on Tuesday.
The injury provided freshman, Chris Herren Jr with his first collegiate start. In twenty-six minutes he gave Boston College five points, one steal and more importantly only one turnover. His coach, Jim Christian though Herren “played hard” and was pleased with his effort.
Guard play got the Eagles off to a good start in this one. Wynston Tabb (19 points, seventh double-figure game of the season) and Herren scored BC’s first ten points. They also got a contribution off the bench from Nik Popovic who scored four quick points when he entered the game on his way to a double-double of 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Columbia stayed in the game in the first half thanks to a late five to nothing run. That cut Boston College’s lead to 31-25 with four minutes left. A Jake Killingsworth three, followed by a Patrick Tape lay in (17 points), kept the Lions around.
A Ky Bowman trey, (24 points in forty minutes of play) gave the Eagles back a double-digit advantage at 37-25. A Lions run of seven to one to close out the half sent both teams to the locker room with the Eagles up 38-32.
Columbia continued the late first-half run into the start of the second half by scoring the first eight points of the second twenty minutes. That run would tie the game at 38-38 and when Randy Brumant (16 points) hit a turnaround jumper in the lane, the Lions were up two at 40-38. The basket forced a BC timeout with 16:53 to play.
The Eagles would respond a nine to two run with Bowman scoring five and Tabb a fast break layup gave BC a five-point cushion at 47-42 with 14:48 to go. Columbia would get as close as three on a three-point make by Quinton Adlesh (11 points) at 53-50 with eleven and a half minutes to go in the game.
From there, the Eagles would keep Columbia at bay hitting their free throws down the stretch as well as playing defense against a team that is one of the better three-point shooting teams in the country. Columbia came into this game averaging 10 treys a game, which leads the Ivy Leagues and rank them 13th in the country. On Wednesday night, they matched that number against Boston College.
Also, for the sixth straight game, the Lions had twenty or more assists (21) which also leads their league and has them 14th in the nation.
Coach Christian’s big concern at the moment is getting “his team healthy”. The team has been hit with some weird injuries that they need to get through.
Wynston Tabb was asked about the 15-1 run that spanned two halves and he said the team did not start the second half “with a lot of energy”.
The Eagles will need to work on these things as they get ready for Fairfield on Sunday.