ACC

Boston College MBB: Gritty Eagles Exit Virginia Tech with 77-73 OT Win

Boston College

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Boston College erased a 12-point first-half deficit and outscored Virginia Tech, 44-35, over the second half and overtime periods in a 77-73 win at Cassell Coliseum on Saturday.

Steffon Mitchell put forth his best game in a Boston College uniform, finishing with 21 points, 15 rebounds, six assists, two blocks, and a steal in 43 minutes of play.  The 21 points and 15 boards tie his career-highs.

The Eagles and Hokies played virtually even through the first 4:35 of play, with VT holding a 9-8 lead early on.  A 13-0 run pushed the Virginia Tech lead to as many as 12 – 22-10 – with 11:38 left in the half.

BC made four of its next five and connected on back-to-back 3-pointers from Nik Popovic and Jay Heath to start a 7-0 run.  The Eagles ramped up their defensive pressure, cutting it to 31-28 with 3:38 left in the period, holding the Hokies without a field goal for the next four-plus minutes.  Tech led, 38-33, at the break.

BC got within one – 40-39 – with 17:36 left before Virginia Tech scored five straight over the next two minutes to push it back to a six-point deficit.  But the Eagles pushed right back, scoring the next 12 points.  A Thornton 3-pointer started the run, Jay Heath knocked down two triples and a free throw, and Jairus Hamilton scored in transition to put BC up six – 51-45 – with 11:45 to go.

Kamari Williams drilled a 3-pointer for the shorthanded Eagles with just under 10 minutes to go in regulation, making it 56-51.  The Hokies’ 8-2 push over the next five and a half minutes put them back up one – 59-58 – with 4:30 left.

Another trey from Williams and a free throw from Jairus Hamilton put BC up four – 66-62 – with less than a minute to go.  But a Virginia Tech layup with 40 seconds to go, a missed front-end by Thornton, and two made FT from the Hokies with four seconds remaining forced overtime.

In the extra frame, VT opened up a four-point lead – 70-66 – with 3:38 left, but BC chipped away at the free-throw line.  Two from Mitchell with 2:22 to go, tied it at 70-70.  VT’s Landers Nolley – who finished with a game-high 29 points – put the Hokies back up 73-70 after a deep 3-pointer with 2:02 to go.  But the Eagles shut down Tech the rest of the way, sealing the victory with a Mitchell layup and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.

Jay Heath finished with 18 points (6-10 FG; 3-7 3FG; 3-4 FT), four boards, and four assists.  Jairus Hamilton added 11 points, five rebounds, and three assists and Derryck Thornton had 10 points and two assists.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • Steffon Mitchell is the only player to post a stat line of 21 points/15 rebounds/6 assists/2 blocks/1 steal against a Division I opponent this season.
  • Over the last 25 seasons, there have been just 18 players who have posted at least that stat line in a game.
  • Jay Heath made his first four FG attempts, tying his season-best 18 points.  The freshman guard knocked down 6-of-10 from the floor, including 3-of-7 from beyond the arc.
  • Jairus Hamilton had 11 points, five boards, and three assists in 33 minutes of play.
  • The Eagles scored 17 points off the bench, led by Kamari Williams’ eight points.  The freshman was 3-of-4 from the floor – including 2-of-3 from the perimeter.
  • Boston College shot 43.4% from the floor – including a season-high-tying 11 3-pointers.
  • The Eagles made 20-of-26 from the foul line – good for a 76.9%
  • The win gives BC six ACC wins – the most since 2017-18 – and moves the Eagles to 4-5 in true road games/5-5 in road/neutral contests.

STAT OF THE GAME:

  • 7-2; 4-0 – Boston College is now 7-2 when Jay Heath scores 15 points or more and 4-0 when he scores 17 or more.

FOR THE ANALYTICS CROWD:

  • Steffon Mitchell posted an efficiency rating of 38 – the highest by a Boston College player this season and the best EFF mark of his career.
  • It was the highest EFF rating by a BC player since Ky Bowman’s 45 last season
  • Jay Heath posted a 20, while Jairus Hamilton had a 12 and Kamari Williams a nine.
  • Efficiency rating is calculated using the following formula: (PTS + REB + AST + STL + BLK – Missed Shots – TO)

UP NEXT:

  • Boston College plays at Miami on Wednesday, Feb. 12 in the lone regular-season meeting with the Hurricanes.
  • Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will air live on regional sports networks around the country.
  • Evan Lepler and Mike Gminski have the broadcast 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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