CHICAGO — Boston College closed the game on a 10-2 run over the final 2:07 and emerged with a 65-62 win at DePaul on Saturday afternoon.
The Eagles trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half (32-20) with 3:11 to play, but closed out the period on an 8-0 run, making it 32-28.
BC extended the run to 10-0 on a Wynston Tabbs fast break layup to start the second half, cutting it to 32-30. The Blue Demons pushed their lead back to six (38-32) shortly after, and the two teams traded baskets for much of the rest of the period.
The Eagles again got within two, after a Ky Bowman steal started a fast break, led by Tabbs who found Jairus Hamilton underneath for the layup. BC trailed 45-43 with 9:52 to go. DePaul would counter with a 9-2 run, extending it to a nine-point advantage (54-45) with 5:41 to play.
That’s where the BC backcourt dynamic kicked into gear. Bowman scored five straight points – on a 3-pointer and a driving layup. On the next defensive possession, Bowman forced a Blue Demon turnover, drawing the charge.
A Chris Herren Jr. 3-pointer cut it to three (56-53) with 4:04 left before Tabbs scored 10 straight points to set up the furious finish. Bowman came up with the steal with 50 ticks to play, finding a streaking Tabbs to make it 60-59 with 45 seconds to go.
As DePaul struggled with the full-court pressure by BC, the freshman guard came over the middle to intercept DePaul’s Eli Cain and was fouled. Tabbs drained both free throws, giving the Eagles their first lead of the game – 61-60 – with 35 seconds to play.
BC made 7-of-8 free throws to seal the win – Tabbs going 3-of-4 and Popovic making 4-of-4.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- Four Eagles scored in double-digits, led by Nik Popovic’s 19 points. The junior made 7-of-12 shots from the floor and 5-of-5 from the foul line. He added three rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a blocked shot in 33 minutes.
- Wynston Tabbs scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half – including a stretch of 10 consecutive points. The freshman recorded three boards, four assists, three steals and a blocked shot.
- Ky Bowman added 11 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a blocked shot.
- Chris Herren Jr. registered 10 points, two boards, an assist, a steal, and a block.
- Steffon Mitchell returned to the BC lineup, coming off the bench to grab a team-high nine rebounds in 27 minutes.
- Jared Hamilton made his Boston College debut, making an impact on the defensive end. He contributed four points and a steal in close to 15 minutes. His brother Jairus had four points and five rebounds.
- BC shot 40.0% from the floor (26-65) and made just 3-of-18 attempts from beyond the arc. The Eagles connected on 46.4% during the second half.
- DePaul outrebounded the Eagles, 47-40, including 18 offensive boards. BC grabbed 12 offensive rebounds.
- The Eagles made 10-of-13 free throws – good for 76.9%.
STAT OF THE GAME, PT. I:
9 for 15 – Wynston Tabbs has scored in double figures on nine occasions. He has scored at least 15 points in each of those games.
FOR THE ANALYTICS CROWD:
Popovic led four Eagles in double-digit efficiencies, tallying 17 for the game. Tabbs (14), Mitchell (12), and Bowman (11) were the others. Efficiency rating is calculated using the following formula: (PTS + REB + AST + STL + BLK – Missed Shots – TO)
BC will close out the non-conference slate on New Year’s Eve at Conte Forum, hosting Hartford at 1 p.m. The game can be seen live on the ACC Network Extra and the game can be heard live on the Boston College IMG Sports Network (WEEI 850 AM) with Josh Maurer and Danya Abrams.