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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Nik Popovic scored a game-high 22 points and Jay Heath added 18 but it was not enough as Virginia picked up a 78-65 win over the Eagles at John Paul Jones Arena.

Both teams shot the ball well early on, with UVA connecting on 5-of-8 and BC 4-of-8 through close to the first six minutes.  The Eagles trailed 20-19 with 7:41 left in the half, thanks to two 3-pointers from Jay Heath.  Virginia would close the half on a 14-4 push over the final seven minutes of the half, taking a 35-23 lead into the locker room at the break.

BC battled through the second half, making 5-of-7 to start the final 20:00 of action. A Jairus Hamilton jumper with 14:45 to go made it a six-point game – at 45-39.  But six straight points from Virginia kickstarted a 10-3 push over the next three minutes, as UVA opened a 56-42 lead with 11:29 to go.

Nik Popovic 3-pointer with 7:43 remaining got BC within 11 – 61-50 – but that was as close as it would get for the Eagles.

Jairus Hamilton scored nine of his 11 points in the second half.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • Nik Popovic was one point off his season-high tonight.  The senior was 9-of-16 from the floor, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.
  • Heath tied his career-high with 18 points.  The freshman played all 40 minutes at the point, adding three rebounds, four assists, and a steal.
  • It marked the first time that Heath scored 17 or more points in a game and BC lost.
  • Derryck Thornton did not dress for the game (back spasms).
  • Jairus Hamilton added 11 points (5-8 FG; 1-3 3FG) to go with three boards.
  • Steffon Mitchell played 33 minutes despite being knocked to the ground on the first drive of the game.  He grabbed a game-high eight rebounds to go with three points and two assists.
  • Jared Hamilton returned to the BC lineup after missing the previous two games.  He had five points on 29 minutes.
  • BC connected on close to 46% (28-61) from the floor, including 8-of-22 from beyond the arc.

STAT OF THE GAME:

  • -20: Virginia held a 22-2 advantage in free throws attempted on the night.

FOR THE ANALYTICS CROWD:

  • Nik Popovic led BC with a 23 efficiency rating.
  • Jay Heath added a 155 EFF mark, while Jairus Hamilton registered a 10.
  • Efficiency rating is calculated using the following formula: (PTS + REB + AST + STL + BLK – Missed Shots – TO)

UP NEXT:

  • Boston College begins its longest homestand in ACC play, hosting Clemson in the first of three straight at home for BC.  Prior to the game, Boston College will honor its 2020 Class of Senior Student-Athletes and team managers.
  • The Eagles and Tigers tip on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. in a game that will air live on the ACC Network.
  • 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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