ACC Tournament: NC State Survives Boston CollegePosted by mpatton on March 8th, 2012
Whatever the final score might say, Boston College was right with NC State until the last ten minutes. This is a story Eagles fans know well.
Boston College showed its youth early. The Eagles started the game 0-7 from the field with five turnovers. At that point, I wondered if they could keep the deficit below 30. NC State led 14-0, and it wasn’t even that close. The Eagles were being couldn’t hold onto the ball settled for contested threes when they could get off a shot. The deficit remained at double digits until Lonnie Jackson knocked down two threes in the last three minutes to cut the NC State lead to eight. Out of the Wolfpack timeout, Alex Johnson turned it over, giving Boston College the chance to cut the lead to five with a three. Instead, Patrick Heckmann missed a lay-up (he’s definitely still recovering from the month-long bout with mono earlier in conference play); Dennis Clifford committed an offensive foul; and all hell broke loose.
Still only down eight with the ball with 30 seconds left, Boston College looked ready to seize control of the momentum by adding to an 8-0 run to close out the half. Instead, Jordan Daniels committed a huge freshman turnover. He turned his back to Lorenzo Brown to look at Steve Donahue for the play. Next thing you know Brown picked his pocket and made him pay on the other end with the and-one. Brown missed the free throw, but another Boston College turnover (the team’s thirteenth of the half) led to CJ Williams’ first basket of the afternoon. Suddenly a potentially 10-0 or 11-0 run in favor of the Eagles was an 8-5 stretch, and the lead was back to 13. Those costly mental errors plagued Donahue’s team all season. They reflect the backcourt youth.
Conclusion and thoughts on NC State after the break.
But they should get better. They’ll get more experience. Ryan Anderson is a legitimate ACC-caliber talent; Lonnie Jackson shows great things in stretches; and Patrick Heckmann, the team’s best player before being sidelined with sickness, will be back to full strength next year. The pieces are slowly coming together. There’s still at least one more rebuilding year in Chestnut Hill, but I like the direction this team is moving.
Flash over to NC State: Mark Gottfried‘s team is squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble, desperate for quality wins. After jumping out to a nearly flawless start, the team clearly started looking towards the potential game against Virginia tomorrow. Suddenly, players started missing defensive assignments and a safe lead dwindled to single digits. Brown’s steal and lay-up, and Williams’ three saved the end of the first half from total disaster. The same story happened in the second half. The Wolfpack couldn’t shut the door on Boston College until the final eight minutes. Instead of cruising to an easy win where the team would get plenty of rest for tomorrow’s game, Gottfried’s team had to fight for every basket as the Eagles stopped turning the game over. Truthfully, the Wolfpack didn’t look like a NCAA tournament team. They’re liable to get a one-way ticket to the NIT from Virginia tomorrow if a lot doesn’t change consistency-wise.