RTC Live: Providence @ Boston College

Posted by zhayes9 on December 8th, 2010

Game #66.  RTC Live is back in Chestnut Hill for what has become a very interesting matchup as the early season has worn on.

This year’s edition of New England’s finest hoops rivalry gets underway tonight at 7 PM ET when Providence travels north to face Boston College at Conte Forum. While both teams were considered long shots to make the NCAA Tournament before the season, the Friars (9-1) and Eagles (6-2) are off to surprising starts. Providence’s #99 ranking in defensive efficiency is a dramatic improvement from last year’s squad and the Friars have early wins against Wyoming, Northeastern and in-state foe Rhode Island to show for it. The versatile duo of Marshon Brooks (21.4 PPG) and emerging star Vincent Council (17.1 PPG) lead the scoring attack in a crucial season for Keno Davis. Despite a shocking loss to Yale, Boston College has rebounded to beat both Texas A&M and California on a neutral floor and defeated Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Junior Reggie Jackson (18.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG) is one of the most gifted and exciting players in the ACC while first-year coach Steve Donahue also has senior cogs Joe Trapani and Corey Raji at his disposal. Join me tonight from Conte Forum for RTC Live to see if Providence can notch their first quality win of the campaign or if the Eagles protect their home turf and continue to build their own NCAA Tournament resume.

Ed. Note: We had some technical difficulties at Conte Forum tonight. We will have a full write-up tomorrow.

Boston College 88, Providence 86.  (ed. note: our contributor Zach Hayes ran into connectivity problems at BC tonight, so he submitted this  report after the game)  When Vincent Council’s desperation three-quarter court heave collided with the backboard and glided off the rim as the clock expired, one couldn’t help but flash back to last April and the Gordon Hayward miracle that wasn’t. Despite the dramatically smaller stage, Council’s attempt was a carbon copy of Butler’s last stand that pulled at the hearts of college basketball fans throughout the nation. Down two with 2.7 seconds to play, the talented sophomore Friar guard nearly made up for a 4-17 shooting performance with a game-winner that would have highlighted tonight’s SportsCenter. Much like last April, it was not meant to be, and the beneficiary was Boston College, a team that has bounced back from a shocking loss at the hands of Ivy league doormat Yale to defeat Texas A&M, California, Indiana, Massachusetts and, now, Providence in the last three weeks. Reggie Jackson, whom his coach Steve Donahue calls a triple double “waiting to happen,” played as efficient and complete of a basketball game as you can imagine: 26 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks on 9-12 from the floor and 4-4 from deep. Taking full advantage of a Providence defense that seemed to revert to last year’s doldrums on more than one occasion, Jackson controlled the game, sank clutch jumpers and continued to provide leadership for Donahue’s squad. The Colorado Springs native delivered the counterpunch that Donahue highlighted as the key moment in the game. Once the Friars established their comfort level in a breakneck, chaotic tempo, a 15-point Eagles lead was trimmed to three around the three minute mark. With Keno Davis’ team feeling the momentum and the small Providence faithful who made the voyage to Chestnut Hill roaring in approval, Jackson calmly drained a three from the left wing to ignite the partisan BC crowd. The Robin to Jackson’s Batman tonight was veteran center Josh Southern, whose 16/9 on 5-6 FG and zero turnover performance was one of his best in an Eagle uniform and enough to drop Providence to 9-2 overall on the campaign. The Friars were paced, as usual, by their senior swingman Marshon Brooks, who overcame a relatively quiet first half to finish with 28/10 on 10-23 FG, going toe-to-toe with Jackson on a number of possessions. Providence also crushed BC on the boards 50-33, but the heroics of Jackson, Southern and a 50% clip from behind the three point stripe was enough to halt the predictable Friars run. Just like their ACC brethren Duke eight months ago, BC was able to dodge a last-second bullet and emerge victorious.

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