ACC

BC Basketball: Late Bucket Sinks Eagles Comeback at Pittsburgh

BC comes up short

PITTSBURGH, Pa.Boston College’s late rally came up short, dropping a 74-72 decision at Pitt.  The loss is the fourth straight for the BC Eagles.

BC trailed 65-55 with 4:22 remaining before starting a 13-6 push over the next three-plus minutes.  A Steffon Mitchell jumper with 1:07 remaining made it a three-point game – 71-68.  The Eagles’ pressure forced two turnovers with 31 seconds remaining.  Derryck Thornton’s swipe and a layup with 27 ticks left and Jairus Hamilton’s interception of the ensuing inbounds pass led to the game-tying layup by Thornton with 12 seconds to go.

Pitt would break the pressure on the next inbounds play, as Ryan Murphy drilled the game-winner with just under four seconds to play.

The Panthers erased a 14-point BC lead, scoring 17 straight points to take a 38-35 lead with 15:35 to play.  Thornton and Jay Heath would connect on back-to-back 3-pointers as BC took a 45-44 lead with 11:45 to play.  But Pitt would respond, outscoring the Eagles 21-10 over the next four-plus minutes to take its largest lead of the night – 65-55 with 4:22 to go.

BC made 3-of-4 shots to start the game, taking a 7-5 lead at the first media break.  Mitchell had five of the seven points, while Nik Popovic returned to the floor after a nine-game absence to connect on his first FG attempt.

After leading 12-11 with 9:45 to go in the half, the Eagles went on a 9-0 run, connecting on three straight 3-pointers – two from Heath and another from Julian Rishwain.  Pitt called for the 30 timeout trailing, 21-11.

After BC went without a field goal for close to four minutes, Rishwain connected from long-range again, to give BC a 31-19 lead with 3:59 to go in the period.  The Eagles led by as many as 14 – 33-19 – before Pittsburgh closed the half with nine unanswered, cutting into the Eagles’ lead at the break – 33-28.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • BC had five players in double figures for the first time all season.
  • Jay Heath led the Eagles with 16 points, connecting on 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.  He added two boards and three assists.
  • Jairus Hamilton and Derryck Thornton each had 13 points.
  • Hamilton was 6-for-6 from the floor while grabbing six boards in 32 minutes of play.
  • Thornton dished out a season-high seven assists to go with three boards and two steals.
  • Steffon Mitchell scored 12 points, making 3-of-6 shots (2-5 3FG).
  • Nik Popovic returned to the lineup after missing the previous nine games.  The senior scored 12 points.
  • Julian Rishwain made 2-of-3 from the perimeter while dishing out three assists and grabbing two boards off the bench.
  • CJ Felder added six rebounds.
  • BC shot 48.1% (25-52) from the floor, including 10-of-24 from the perimeter.
  • The Eagles connected on 12-of-13 from the charity stripe – good for a season-best 92.3%.
  • Pitt outrebounded BC, 31-26.

STAT OF THE GAME:

  • -22; +9 – BC was outscored, 44-22, in points in the paint; but held a 21-12 advantage in points off turnovers

FOR THE ANALYTICS CROWD:

  • Jairus Hamilton led four Eagles in double-figure efficiency rating, with an 18.
  • Jay HeathDerryck Thornton, and Steffon Mitchell each registered a 14 EFF rating.
  • Efficiency rating is calculated using the following formula: (PTS + REB + AST + STL + BLK – Missed Shots – TO)

UP NEXT:

  • Boston College returns to Conte Forum on Saturday, Jan. 25 when it hosts Virginia Tech.
  • Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. and the game will air live on ESPNU. Jay Alter and Dalen Cuff with have the call.
  • Former All-American and all-time leading scorer Troy Bell will have his jersey retired in a halftime ceremony.
  • The game can also be heard live on the Boston College Learfield IMG College Sports Network with Josh Maurer and Danya Abrams on WEEI 850 AM.
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