Starting with a Jairus Hamilton jumper to open the game, BC came out of the gates firing. The Eagles made their first three field goal attempts and 6-of-9 to take a 16-13 lead five and a half minutes into the contest.
Thornton and Heath combined to make 4-of-6 from beyond the arc as BC led by nine – 25-16 – with 12:06 left in the game. Louisville would respond with a 14-2 run, including 11 unanswered points, to take a 31-29 lead with 7:29 to play in the period. The run would extend to 23-7 over a 6:03 span as the Cards led by seven – 39-32 – with 5:34 to go. The Eagles would use an 11-6 push over the final 4:09 to make it a two-point game at the break, 45-43.
BC went without a field goal for close to five minutes to start the second half, as UofL extended its lead to eight – 57-49 – with 15:14 to play in regulation. Twice the Eagles got within five after two Thornton free throws made it 67-62 with 8:35 to play. But the Cardinals’ 14-2 over the next 4:09 was the dagger.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- Thornton and Heath combined for 33 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
- It was the highest combined scoring total for the Eagles’ starting backcourt since the duo combined for 35 points at Notre Dame on Dec. 7.
- Jairus Hamilton added 13 points in 26 foul-plagued minutes. He is averaging 16.3 points per game over his last three outings.
- Steffon Mitchell registered team-highs with nine rebounds and two steals. He also had six points and two assists on the night.
- CJ Felder chipped in with six points, four boards, and a steal in 18 minutes.
- For the game, BC shot 40.0% (24-60), including 7-of-22 (31.8%) from beyond the arc. They were 14-of-22 from the foul line (63.6%).
- The Eagles have dropped their last five meetings against top-five ranked opponents.
- Louisville’s Jordan Nwora narrowly missed the Conte Forum opponent’s scoring record. The junior poured in 37 points on the night. The record – 39 points – is held by Connecticut’s Richard Hamilton on Jan. 6, 1999.
STAT OF THE GAME:
- +4; +13 – BC outscored Louisville, 26-22, in points in the paint. The Eagles also held a 17-4 edge in points off turnovers.
FOR THE ANALYTICS CROWD:
- Derryck Thornton and Steffon Mitchell led BC with an efficiency rating of 15.
- Jay Heath also reached double-digits in EFF, posting an 11.
- Efficiency rating is calculated using the following formula: (PTS + REB + AST + STL + BLK – Missed Shots – TO)
- Boston College travels to North Carolina for a game at the Dean E. Smith Center on Saturday, February 1.
- Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game will air live on the ACC Network. Wes Durham and Jordan Cornette have the call.
- 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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