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Jan. 16, 2028: #3 ranked Boston College (15-1, 5-0) vs Virginia Tech Hokies (7-8, 1-4) at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, VA

Boston Herald

EAGLES SAVE BEST FOR LAST

The Boston College Eagles put their conference lead and their undefeated ACC record on the line when they travelled to take on Virginia Tech last night.  Blacksburg, Virginia was during a near record cold spell, but a high level of enthusiasm by the Hokies fans warmed up Cassell Coliseum.

The Eagles’ defense stymied the Hokies early and Boston College ran away to a 19-4 lead eight minutes into the game.  But BC’s offense got cold and Virginia Tech’s shooting warmed up.  With 5 minutes to go in the half, the Hokies took a single point lead.  The lead then flipped back and forth with BC scoring in the late going of the half to lead 37-34 at the break.  C Courtland Reese scored 10 points and pulled down 6 rebounds in the first half. 
Boston College opened the 2nd half with a spurt that put them ahead by 14 with 15 minutes to play.  The teams exchanged baskets for the next four minutes but then the Eagles pulled further away to go up by a score of 71-51 with 8 minutes remaining.  BC continued to extend their lead and finished the game by whipping the Hokies 91-62 as they outscored Virginia Tech by 26 points in the second half.

The Eagles connected on 54% of their FG’s and 47% of their 3’s while holding Virginia Tech’s shooting to 39% on FG's and just 21% on their 3 point attempts.  SF Leonard Meliet drilled in 25 points, C Courtney Reese had 18 points and 8 rebounds, and PF Marvin Reese added 10 points.

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Jan. 18, 2028: #3 seed Boston College Eagles (16-1, 6-0) vs Clemson Tigers (9-8, 3-4) at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, SC

Melissa Rockingham, Boston College Alumna

I graduated from BC five years ago and was hired by SYNNEX Corporation, a technology solutions provider, in Greenville, SC.  I like living here even though my politics don’t mesh all that well with the majority here.  I decided to make the 45 minute drive to Clemson to watch my alma mater, particularly since they’re doing so well this year.  A friend of mine from work who is a Clemson fan came along with me.  We have a bet on the game.  I imagine I’ll be the only BC fan in attendance amongst a bunch of rabid Tigers fans.

According to my friend, Clemson has home wins against Virginia and Louisville, two ranked teams.  They’re paced by SG Lou Robinson (15.5 ppg), SF Mark Leib (13.9 ppg), and C Bill DeManby (10.6 ppg).  But I like what I’ve heard about the Eagles players so have a good feeling we’ll win.  My friend says home court advantage will favor the Tigers but the Eagles have just finished winning three straight away games.

The Eagles shot well to begin the game.  The first time out came with 14-1/2 minutes to play and the score 16-7 with BC leading.  My friend who had been loud when the game started had quieted down.  The Eagles were ahead by 15 two minutes later.  SF Leonard Meliet is hitting every shot he takes…great player.  Clemson finished the half strong and the game was tied at 46-46 at the end of the half. 

Clemson came out burning up the net and streaked ahead 55-48.  Courtland Reese picked up his 3rd and 4th fouls in the first 2-1/2 minutes of the 2nd half.  Then the Tigers could do no wrong and the Eagles could do nothing right.  Clemson went ahead 77-55 with 12 minutes remaining. The crowd was going absolutely crazy.  The Tigers simply could not miss and the lead grew to 88-61 a couple minutes later.  The Eagles went down to a huge defeat, 111-88. My friend said the Tigers hit about 75% of their shots in the 2nd half and about the same percentage of their 3’s.  Clemson’s SF Mark Leib scored 24 and SG Lou Robinson hit for 22.  BC’s leading scorers were C Courtland Reese with 15, SG James Lilly with 13, and SF Leonard Meliet with 11.

Ray Martin’s WRKO Radio Station interview of Coach Frederick Aura:

Martin: What happened Coach?

Aura: We ran into a buzzsaw.  Clemson simply outplayed us the last 30 minutes of the game.  And in the 2nd half, we fell apart completely on defense.

Martin: You had such a good start in the game.

Aura: I think that was our undoing actually.  We got overconfident and you just can’t do that against any ACC team.  Losses are inevitable but I sure hate to lose the way we did.

Martin: I guess now it’s time to regroup.

Aura: Oh, we will.  The team is solid.  We finally get to play a home game next.  Four straight away games is torture.

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Janeka Aura

Fred’s attention is more focused on his team this year than ever before.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s always been spent many hours every day on his teams.  But for some reason, it seems he’s devoting even more time and energy this season.  You’d think that when his team is doing so well, things would each up.  But maybe the pressure of being ranked high in the polls is creating stress.  Whatever it is, it means he has less time for family…which I’m not happy about.  Of course he has to miss Malik’s high school basketball games when Boston College is on the road, but he’s also missed a few when they’ve been here in town.  Not good.  He makes every effort to get to Devany’s soccer games, but has missed a few of those too. 

I’m still working mainly from home.  Mom’s cancer was in remission, but it’s snuck back.  So I’m spending a lot of time with her and Daddy.  They’re pretty resilient but this has been a long, rough journey for them.

Devany is now a 5th grader.  She loves school and ballet but excels in soccer.  She’s a bubbly kid who is beginning to really get into music.

Malik is a junior in high school.  I believe he’s experiencing some of the normal challenges of high school and being a teenager.  But he’s an extremely good basketball player.  He’s not as tall as Omari but has a great scorer at his SG position.

Omari chose to go to Providence.  As a freshman, he’s finding college scholastics to be more difficult than high school.  So far he’s pretty much a B- student at Providence.  He’s been coming in off the bench at SF, playing a little over 10 mpg and averaging 3.5 ppg and 1.5 rpg.  Even though he’s not hitting his shots as well as he’d like, Coach Brandin Parker feels he’s breaking in well to collegiate basketball.  The Friars are 16-3 and ranked 5th in the polls.  Fred tries to get to as many of Omari's games as possible, but we can also catch Providence’s games on TV.

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Jan. 20, 2028: Miami (FL) (13-5, 5-3) vs #3 ranked Boston College (16-2, 6-1) at Silvio O. Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA

Bobby Monroe, WRKO Radio

I host a daily sports talk show on WRKO.  Since the Eagles have been playing so well, there’s been a lot more callers wanting to talk about the team.  I’ve watched many of their games on TV, but decided I’d come see them in person hoping it would give me a better perspective on the team and be able to talk about some things its not easy to pick up on when just watching them on the tube.

One thing that jumped right out at me during the warmups was that James Lilly really is much smaller than most of the other players and yet he’s been one of BC’s top rebounders.  At 6’0” he’s the smallest guy on the team.  I was hoping he would have a big rebounding night so I can see how he accomplishes it from his SG position.

Miami has played inconsistently in ACC action, but they are the only ACC team that’s beaten Virginia and the Cavaliers are presently tied with Boston College for first place in the ACC.  The Hurricanes have scored well but have been weak defensively.

Observations:

+Courtland Reese looked dominant inside.  Scored 9 points in the first 5 minutes. 

+Eagles zone defense was effective.

+Watching Lilly rebound…he just anticipates so well…gets to the right place, good elevation when there.

+BC careless with the ball…too many turnovers.

+Leonard Meliet looked good from outside the arc.  Hard to believe he’s only a freshman…able to score, rebound, and dish out assists.

+Coach Aura subs regularly keeping fresh legs on the court.

+Miami rallied a couple times to get within a single point, but BC able to shut them down and regain control, including 21-4 run that put the Eagles ahead 40-22 with minute remaining in half.

+At the half, it was 47-27 in favor of Boston College.  FG%: 50% for BC, 27% for Miami; 3P%: 47% for BC, 10% for Miami; Turnovers: 8 by BC, 11 by Miami; Rebounding: even.

+3 Eagles in double figures after 1st half: Leonard Meliet—14; Courtland Reese—12; Josh McFadgon—11.  Bench which has played well in most other games was unproductive in first half.  Top scorer for Miami had just 5 points.

+Bench-warmer SF Keith Kolder came in and fired up offense in the second half.  He scored 7 points and grabbed to rebounds in his first 5 minutes on the floor.

+Miami never able to reduce BC’s lead in the second half due to Eagles’ lock-down defense which caused the Hurricanes to shoot even worse than they did in the first half.

+Eagles controlled the boards in the second half.

+Boston College won with ease 79-54.

+Miami’s shooting for entire game was an abysmal 24% and BC forced them to make 16 turnovers.  Only thing Miami did well was shoot free throws hitting 19 for 19 at the line.

+Eagles’ reserves played much better in second half, scoring 16 of the 32 points the Eagles scored in the 2nd half.

+C Courtland Reese: 18 points and 7 rebounds; SF Leonard Meliet: 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists; PG Josh McFadgon: 11 points; PF Marvin Reese: 10 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists; SG James Lilly-8 rebounds.

+#13 ranked Virginia traveled to take on Notre Dame and beat the #15 ranked Fighting Irish to stay in a tie with Boston College for 1st place in the ACC.  #14 ranked North Carolina and #2 ranked Duke are one game back.

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Jan. 25, 2028: North Carolina State Wolfpack (13-5, 5-3) vs #4 ranked Boston College (17-2, 7-1) at Silvio O. Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA

HOOPS (the basketball-focused blog with the highest page views)

A surprising name in the Top 5 in the polls this season has been a college that has not been highly ranked for over a quarter of a century.  The new Top 5 entrant this season is Boston College.  While it was evident the Eagles were on an ascendance, few anticipated that the Eagles would even be in the Top 25 this season.

In the 5 seasons before Frederick Aura took over as head coach at Boston College, the Eagles has won 49 and lost 105 games.  So in just 2-1/2 years, Aura has worked wonders at BC.  Obviously Jason Braxton, Boston College’s athletic director, must have taken notice of Aura when Aura’s Towson team trampled the Eagles by 17 points in a pre-conference game in 2023.  While not mentioning that embarrassing loss, Braxton said, “We were in need of a big turn around for our basketball program.  Fred Aura did a tremendous job of developing Towson from a losing program into a consistent winner and powerhouse within their conference and a repeat participant in the NCAA Tournament.  I thought he could do the same for us, but even I’ve been surprised by the rapidity with which he’s done so here.”

Boston College has a sparkling 17-2 season record this year and sits tied with Virginia atop the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 7-1 record.  Playing on the road, the Eagles shocked #2 ranked Duke by defeating the Blue Devils 61-42 in an ACC opener.

The Eagles have streaked upward in the polls…as high as #3.  Even though Boston College won 2 games last week, a loss to Clemson caused them to fall a notch in the polls to #4.  Above them are Kansas, Duke (which is a game behind BC in the ACC standings ), and Creighton.

Last night, the Eagles hosted another team that has played better this season than expected…the North Carolina State Wolfpack (13-5, 5-3).  To keep up with Virginia which won earlier in the day, BC needed to win. 

The Eagles, playing at home, were 10 point favorites and C Courtland Reese scored 7 of BC’s first 9 points, but the Wolfpack didn’t fold.  Midway through the first half, NC State was ahead by 7 points.  The Eagles gamely fought to come back and 5 minutes later regained a small lead due to a stout defense.  That lead grew to as much as 8 and the half ended with Boston College on top 46-39.  Courtland Reese had an awesome half, scoring 17 points for the Eagles.

Three minutes into the 2nd half, BC’s lead had grown to 15 points.  Five minutes later the difference was 25 points as the Eagles demonstrated their strength.  Even though Coach Aura was substituting freely, BC continued their dominance and finished the game with an impressive 91-64 victory.

The Eagles outshot the Wolfpack 45% to 33%, dominated the boards 45-30, held a 15-8 turnover advantage, outscored NC State in the paint 32-10, on 2nd chance points 18-4, and on fast break points 8-2.

Leading Boston College was C Courtland Reese with 24 points and 10 rebounds.  He was ably supported by SF Leonard Meliet’s 14 points, SG James Lilly recording a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards, and reserve PF Winston Minahan who scored 10 points.

Coach Frederick Aura said, “This was a good team effort.  I was particularly happy with how we were able to effectively tighten our defense over the final 30 minutes of the game.  Courtland and James played extremely well as did Winston Minahan and Jason Caldwell who came in off the bench to score a combined 19 points.

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Jan. 27, 2028: #4 ranked Boston College Eagles (18-2, 8-1) vs #9 ranked Louisville Cardinals (16-5, 5-4) at KFD Yum! Center in Louisville, KY

2nd Assistant Coach Chris Evans (recruiting)

It’s been a little over two months since unsupported allegations were made about our recruiting program.  I’d thought these had disappeared the way all false accusations should.  But earlier this week, an NCAA investigator appeared at our door asking to review our records.  This took a full two days.  While I was certain he would find nothing amiss, it still was an excruciating time for me and everyone here at Boston College. 

The investigator left late yesterday without providing an inkling about his findings.  I guess now we wait to see if another shoe drops.  I can not for the life of me believe that anything will come of this. But it’s still extremely unsettling.  Coach Aura has taken it all calmly, at least on the exterior.  Practice proceeded as if nothing was going on.  That’s good because Louisville will be a tough team to beat on their home court.  They have an 11-1 home record this season.

The Cardinals have been extremely inconsistent in ACC play but kicked butt throughout their pre-conference schedule.  They’re one of the top rebounding teams in the country, but I think that’s because they’ve been a poor shooting team so have more rebounding opportunities.

We’ll be finding out tomorrow how the five guys we recruited did on their SAT’s.  I’m on pins and needles awaiting those results and sure hope all five met our minimum score.

Game developments:

Some good defense by us early that allowed the Cardinals to hit just 1 of their first 12 FG’s so that we opened a 13-3 lead.  Surprisingly, we control the boards throughout the first half.  We pretty much maintained a double digit lead from thereon and finished the half up 39-30.  We didn’t shoot well hitting just 38% of our shots but Louisville hit only 31% of theirs.  We out-rebounded the Cardinals 22-12.  SF Michael Millford came in off the bench to lead our scoring with 7 points.

Play was extremely sloppy by both teams in the 2nd half.  Both teams had a tough time getting the ball in the hoop making the poor shooting of the first half seem good.  There were lots of turnovers and fouls.  We padded our lead to as much as 16 points even though we were hitting about 25% of our shots during the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half.  Louisville cut our lead to 7 points with 3-1/2 minutes to go.  We rallied to retake a double digit lead, but then the Cardinals came back and with 1:20 left they narrowed the gap to 64-60.  But Louisville was forced to foul from thereon and we managed to come away with a 70-63 victory.  The Cardinals hit just 31% of their shots, but we could only get 34% of our in the hoop.  We controlled the boards 47-29 but had 19 turnovers to 12 by the Cardinals.

C Courtland Reese had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.  SG James Lilly also had a double-double with 12 points and 12 boards.  SF Leonard Meliet and PF Marvin Reese scored in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

We played unimpressively but our defense carried us to a road win and kept us tied with Virginia for first place in the ACC, one game ahead of Duke and 2 games ahead of Notre Dame and North Carolina.

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Jason Braxton, Athletic Director

Good news this week.  All five of our recruited players had high enough SAT scores to exceed our minimum requirements.  Each of them are ranked within the top 100 recruits.  So we’re all excited to get them onto campus later this year and plying for us next fall.

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Jan. 30, 2028: #2 ranked Duke Blue Devils (20-2, 8-2) vs #4 ranked Boston College (19-2, 9-1) at Silvio O. Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA

TJ Perry, athletic trainer for Boston College

We’ve had a series of nagging injuries this season.  Fortunately they’ve all be fairly minor.  For this game it’s Jason Caldwell.  He fell hard in practice.  Came down on his right hand which is still sore.  He is going to play but the minor injury may inhibit his effectiveness.  The pain should pass before our next game, though.  Coach Fed generally takes a pretty conservative approach, holding players out or limiting their play.  This keeps the injuries from being aggravated, so his philosophy really helps our training staff.  On the other hand, most players want to play and tend to provide overly optimistic comments about the extent of their injuries and ability to play.  But if they do play with an injury that is limiting what they can do, my experience has been that their productiveness is typically greatly decreased.

Tonight’s opponent, Duke, has one player out.  Reserve PF Dave Chavis broke his leg a couple weeks ago.  The Blue Devils’ star C Brian Taylor injured his wrist two games ago and he played poorly after the injury in that game.  But he played in their next game and did well, so apparently it’s not bothering him all that much.

The coaching staff and team seemed really focused in practice on taking down Duke.  The Blue Devils come into the game riding a 7 game win streak.  After losing to us on their home court a month ago, Duke is likely to be seeking revenge so it’s not going to be easy.  But our beating them twice this season would be a huge rocking of the ACC world.  I’m hoping we stay healthy throughout the game so I can watch as much of it as possible.

PF Marvin Reese scored the first 7 points in the game.  After that we pulled out to a 14-3 lead at the first media timeout.  The bench and our fans were going crazy.  Coming out of the timeout, SF Leonard Meliet drained to make it 17-3 and causing Duke’s coach to call a timeout to try to quiet the crowd.  Duke responded by knocking down a 3 as soon as play resumed.  But the Blue Devils looked rattled.  Jason Caldwell was politicking to get into the game, but Coach Fed had Winston Minahan replace Marvin Reese at PF.  We went flat offensively for a while but then got back on track to build a 33-12 lead with 6 minutes left in the half.  SF Michael Millford went down hard and came out of the game.  We checked him out, but he was ok.  The half ended with us on top 46-27.  Nothing but normal aches and pains in the locker room.  Coach Fed was happy with the way the team had played so just made a slight change defensively for the second half to try to keep SF Rod Allen, who’d scored 10 points in the first half, in check.  All our scoring in the first half came from our starters plus C Greg Kidd.

Duke went on a run the first 5 minutes of the second half to cut our lead to 52-48.  Even though our guys were having a tough time hitting their shots, they were able to reopen a double-digit lead.  Marvin Reese came down with a muscle cramp but was able to return to play after we worked on it.  Late in the game Duke had to foul to try to get the ball back in their hands.  That allowed us to add to our lead and come away with a prized 73-56 win over Duke.

Topping our scoring were C Courtland Reese and SF Leonard Meliet with 15 point each.  Courtland Reese also had 8 rebounds.  PF Marvin Reese scored 11 and PG Josh McFadgon and reserve C Greg Kidd both scored 10.  SG James Lilly had 8 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists.  Duke’s SF Rod Allen had 20 points and 8 rebounds, but Courtland Reese completely shut down C Brian Taylor who scored just 2 points in 34 minutes of play.

Since Coach Fed kept Jason Caldwell off the floor throughout the entire game, I believe Jason will be fully recovered for our next game.

Virginia didn’t play tonight, so we have a half-game lead in the ACC standings.

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Jason Braxton, Athletic Director

The quarterfinalists for the Norton Award were announced today.  We were all very excited that freshman Leonard Meliet was named as a quarterfinalist.  Leonard has been a mainstay for us this season, playing primarily at SF, but also putting in time as PG, SG, and once for a short time at C.  He’s our leading scorer, averaging 14.5 ppg in our 22 games thus far this season. He’s also averaging 4.5 rpg and 3.6 apg.  He’s scored in double figures in 19 games and had 20+ points in 4 games.

Meliet’s accomplishment together with our sweep of this season’s series with Duke makes this a very special week for Boston College basketball.

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Feb. 3, 2028: #4 ranked Boston College Eagles (20-2, 10-1) vs Miami Hurricanes (13-9, 5-7) at Watsco Center in Coral Gables, FL

Coach Frederick Aura

Miami is dangerous because they’re on a 6-game losing streak which means they’re extremely hungry for a win.  Earlier this season the Hurricanes beat Virginia, the team with which we’re tied for 1st place.  Coming off the game with Duke, I am also concerned we may have a let down.  My challenge this week has been to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Bad start.  We fell behind 7-1 and it took us 5-1/2 minutes before we made our first field goal and that included 5 misses by C Courtland Reese.  Our poor shooting continued throughout the first half and we fell behind 33-18 with 3-1/2 minutes remaining in the half.  I called a time out and tore into the team.  It didn’t help, we left the court at the half down 42-24.  Even though we hit a few baskets in the final few minutes we still only sunk 23% of our shots while Miami knocked down 53% of theirs.  We didn’t even shoot well at the free throw line, making just 46% of our foul shots.  A butt-chewing ensued in the locker room.

We came out flat and fell behind by 23.  After tearing into the team for the 3rd time, they finally responded by going on a 16-4 run.  We stumbled again as we made a series of turnovers and dropped back into a double-digit deficit.  In the late stages of the game, we made a desperate comeback that got us to within 68-64 with 2 minutes to go.  With a minute to go, Leonard Meliet hit a 3 that made it 71-69 in favor of Miami.  We tied the game with 30 seconds on the clock when SG Jason Dunn drove down to the basket and scored on a reverse layup.  Miami missed a shot and we rebounded.  With 4 seconds left PG Phil Thompson got the ball over to Jason Dunn on the wing and Jason drilled his shot from just outside the arc making giving us our first lead since it was 1-0 almost 40 minutes earlier.  We had a foul to give so we fouled just after they inbounded the ball giving them just 2 seconds to try to tie the game.  Miami lobbed up a prayer from beyond midcourt but it wasn’t close.  We pulled off a last-minute win we really didn’t deserve by a final score of 74-71.  The Hurricanes outshot us 43% to 36% and out-rebounded us 41-36.  But we held a 19-12 turnover advantage and got to the line 17 more times were we made 11 more points than Miami.  That saved us.

SF Leonard Meliet was our only starter who shot well.  He scored 20 points.  C Courtland Reese and PF Marvin Reese added 12 and 10 points, respectively.  But it was reserves PG Phil Thompson and SG Jason Dunn who pulled our bacon out of the fire by scoring a combined 12 points in the waning minutes of the game.

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Boston College Chronicle

By Kinsey Ramsey

EAGLES MOVE NEAR TOP OF POLLS                                            

 

Following their two wins this past week including a drubbing of Duke, Boston College’s basketball team finally moved up the polls past Duke and Creighton to #2 in both the Media Poll and Coaches Poll.  Only Kansas ranks higher than the Eagles. 

Boston College remained in the top spot in the NET Rankings with Kansas right behind them. 

In the Atlantic Conference Standings, the Eagles remained tied with Virginia for first place with Duke now 2-1/2 games back in third place. 

This week BC plays just one game, travelling to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers on Wednesday night.

Edited by PointGuard

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Feb. 6, 2028: #2 ranked Boston College Eagles (21-2, 11-1) vs Pittsburgh Panthers (10-12, 3-9) at Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, PA

Andy Dawson, walk-on SF

I’m a walk-on and last on the depth chart so I’ve only played in two minutes in one game.  So my main role during games is as a cheer leader for the team from the bench.  Pittsburgh is a pretty good offensive team and will test our defense, but the Panthers are weak defensively, so we need to exploit that.  Four of their starters average between 10.0 and 13.3 ppg.  PG Marcus Williams has hit over 50% of his FG’s and 37% of his 3’s.  Pittsburgh has lost 7 of their last 8 games.  Our goal tonight is to keep them on their downward trajectory.

The refs called a defensive foul and then an offensive foul against C Courtland Reese in less than a minute from the start of the game.  Coach Fed was giving the refs hell, but Courtland missed the rest of the half.  Our team responded by getting steals on the next 2 possessions by the Panthers and jamming down 2 dunks on breakaways.  We went up 8-0 with 16:40 left in the half and SG James Lilly had scored 6 of our 8 points.  Our bench was in a frenzy.  It took Pittsburgh nearly 7 minutes before they scored their first points.  With us ahead 26-14, there was a power failure, probably due to the crappy winter weather in Pittsburgh.  When play resumed, we had a tough time getting our game going again and the Panthers went on a run that reduced our lead to 31-30 with 2 minutes remaining in the half.  We were able to increase our lead a little and finished the half with a 38-33 advantage. 

Pittsburgh hit two quick 3’s to start the 2nd half and take their first lead of the game at 39-38.  We responded by going on a 9-0 run.  We maintained a lead but the Panthers kept nipping at our heels.  In the final few minutes of the game we extended our lead to win by a score of 87-74.  That was our 6th straight win.

PF Marvin Reese scored 17 and had 7 boards.  SF Leonard Meliet also hit for 17 points and added 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals.  SG James Lilly dropped in 11 pints and PG Phil Thompson came off the bench to score 10 points.

After the game, Coach Fed made it clear that we need to clean up our play and also not let teams get back into the game after we get a solid lead.

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Feb. 13, 2028: #10 ranked Virginia Cavaliers (21-2, 12-1) vs #2 ranked Boston College Eagles (22-2, 12-1) at Silvio O. Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA

Excerpts from WEEI radio broadcast of the game:

--Hi Eagles fans.  This is Parker White along with Cap Morrison bringing you tonight’s game Boston College game.  Tonight they take on the Virginia Cavaliers.  This is a game for sole possession of first place in the ACC.  Both teams have been tied for weeks atop the ACC standings and come into this game with identical 12-1 records in conference play. 

The teams’ stats aren’t much different, but Virginia is scoring about 4-1/2 more points a game while giving up 2-1/2 more points a game than the Eagles.  Cap, how are the Cavaliers being more effective offensively?

It really comes down to two things, Parker.  Virginia is a better team on the offensive boards and gets more steals.  Otherwise Boston College is as good or better in most other aspects of the game that create points.  And defensively, the Eagles have held opponents’ shooting percentage much lower than has Virginia which has led to BC being able to keep their opponents scoring slightly fewer points than has Virginia.

Well, Cap…this looks to be a really highly contested game by both teams.  What about individual personnel on the two teams, Cap?

Parker, Virginia’s SF Jamaal Lawson is one of the best players in the country.  He’s averaging 25.5 ppg and 8.6 rpg.  While the rest of the Cavaliers’ team is very good, the Eagles have a more balanced lineup and a slight advantage at most of the other positions.  Lawson has scored between 20 and 29 points 16 times, between 30 and 39 points 6 times and has one game where he poured in 43 points.  I think if Boston College can keep him in the low to mid 20’s, they have a good chance of winning, but if he goes off with a big game, the Eagles will be in trouble.  But applying too tight a defense against Lawson could put BC’s best scorer, Leonard Meliet, in foul trouble.  So I would expect to see Coach Aura switch primary defenders on Lawson throughout the game.

Conte Forum is filled the rafters tonight, Cap, so that should be a factor favoring the Eagles.

OK Eagles’ fans, we’re getting really close to game time, so we’ll be back with the tip-off after this commercial for Samuel Adams, your hometown beer.

--7 seconds into the game and an offensive foul is called on Courtland Reese.  BC has to hope he doesn’t get a 2nd foul as early as he did in their last game.

--Lawson draws first blood for Virginia!

--Coach Aura has to be going crazy.  3 turnovers by the Eagles in the first minute of play.  I suspect he’ll have some choice words for his starters at the first timeout.

--Cap, you were right.  First Coach Aura had Marvin Reese guarding Lawson, and now Jason Caldwell is on him.  Looks like Aura’s trying to protect Meliet.

--At the first media time out, the score is 5-0 in favor of Virginia.  BC is oh-for-five from the field and has 4 turnovers.  Gonna be some Eagles’ ears burning during this timeout.

--Lilly finally cans the Eagles’ first field goal.  He was fouled on the shot.  He converts the 3-point play.

--Leonard Meliet drills the 3 to give Boston College its first lead of the game at 11-8.  The Eagles have now scored 10 unanswered points.

--That’s the 2nd foul on Meliet sending him to the bench with 12 minutes still remaining in the first half. 

--That’s the first 3 pointer for Jamaal Lawson giving him 6 points thus far.  That cut’s BC’s lead to 20-17.  I hope Lawson’s not getting on fire, Cap.  Yeah, Parker…Virginia’s gotta be counting their blessings that he decided to stay 4 years with them.  But while he could have been a one-and-done, he was smart to stick it out for 4 years since he’s got a good chance of winning the Norton Award in his senior year and moving up from a late 1st rounder as a freshman or sophomore to having a good chance of being the #1 pick in the draft after this season.

--Josh McFadgon faked the defender out of his shoes and drives down the lane for an uncontested layup making it Boston College-28, Virginia-23 with 5 minutes remaining.

--That’s the second straight pass picked off by Virginia with resulting buckets on fast breaks.  The game’s tied at 30-30.  Time out called by the Eagles.

--Good move by Michael Millford causes Lawson to foul.  That’s 2 on Lawson.  Millford sinks both shots giving him 7 points, all on free throws.

--That’s the end of the first half with Virginia on top 35-34.  A solid defensive effort by both teams.  Virginia’s Jamaal Lawson leads all scorers with 9 points.  Top scorer for Boston College was Michael Millford with 7 points.

--It’s anybody’s game as the 2nd half gets underway.  Let’s see which team can do the best job of resurrecting their offense.

--Turnovers are killing the Eagles.  They’re now down 47-42.

--Jason Dunn converts both free throws.  That’s 6 straight points for BC and they retake the lead at 50-49 with 12 minutes to go.

--Yet another turnover by BC as they throw the ball away.  Virginia inbounds it and works the ball inside and back out.  Childress works the ball into the corner and fires a pass to Dabbert who puts up a shot. It’s off the rim but he was fouled.  He drops in the first shot…and now the second goes through the hoop giving Virginia a 61-56 lead with 5:31 on the clock.  BC brings Courtland Reese back onto the court.

--Meliet shot from the corner drops through to get BC within 2.

--Another 3 by Meliet and BC goes ahead 62-61.

--Brown knocks down the jumper for Virginia and they’re ahead again 63-62 now with 4 minutes left.

--Final media timeout.  The pressure is on Boston College.

--Meliet receives the inbound pass.  He dribbles down the sideline.  His pass goes to Courtland Reese near the key.  Reese turns and moves toward the basket.  He goes up and jams it home to give the lead back to BC.

--After backcourt turnover by the Cavaliers, Reese again takes a pass inside.  He puts up a shot and is fouled.  He drops both free throws in to make it 66-63 in favor of the Eagles.

--Following Lilly’s interception, Millford puts up a long 3…it’s IN!  69-63 with 2:42 to go. Virginia calls a timeout.

--Lawson called for the foul as Meliet tried to make the pass.  Virginia’s coach is livid.  Meliet goes to the line for a one-and-one.  He hits the first.  Virginia’s coach still jaw-boning the officials.  Meliet drops in the 2nd shot and it’s 71-63.  The crowd is going bonkers.

--Virginia hits both free throws with 2:13 on the clock. It’s now 71-65.

--Yet another foul.  Courtland Reese makes both shots making it 73-65 with just under 2 minutes remaining.

--Lawson drops in the jumper to cut the lead to 6.

--The Flyers continue to work the ball inside to Courtland Reese.  He was fouled as he put up the shot.  He goes to the line for 2 more shots.  Swish, swish!  Both in to make it 75-67. 

--Lawson gets the ball outside the circle.  He drives to the edge of the key and puts up a shot.  It’s off the mark but Millford fouled him.  He hits both shots.  75-69 with 1:10 left.

--Virginia is forced to foul.  McFadgon puts both shots in so the lead returns to 8.

--After the Cavaliers turnover, McFadgon is fouled immediately.  He hits both shots put the Eagles up by 10.  The cheering crescendos.

--The Cavaliers can’t get the ball in the basket.  BC works the clock down.  Just before the shot clock expires, Reese puts up a baseline jumper that goes in.  Too little time for Virginia to do anything more.  Boston College comes on strong toward the end of the game to win 81-69 and take sole possession for 1st place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

--Leading the Eagles was Courtland Reese with 22 points and 11 rebounds.  SF Leonard Meliet hit for 17 points and SF Michael Millford came off the bench to score 12.  Jamaal Lawson scored 17 for Virginia, but he could only hit 5 of 17 FG’s due to the tremendous pressure of the Eagles’ defense.

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Boston College Chronicle

Kinsey Ramsey

EAGLES RISE TO TOP

After last night’s exciting win over Virginia, the Boston College Eagles are now residing alone at the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings.  Jason Braxton, BC’s Athletic Director said, “We set some high expectations just a couple years ago when Fred Aura was hired as our head coach.  But rising to this point came much sooner than we could have ever imagined.  The team’s players and coaching staff have done a tremendous job.  But our goals go beyond topping the ACC, so we’ll continue to pursue those.”

Here’s the present ACC standings:

#2 Boston College: 13-1

#10 Virginia: 12-2

#3 Duke: 10-4

#11 Louisville: 10-5

#17 Notre Dame: 9-5

#13 North Carolina: 9-6

North Carolina St.: 8-7

Clemson: 8-8

Georgia Tech: 6-8

Miami (FL): 6-8

Florida St.: 5-10

Virginia Tech: 4-10

Syracuse: 4-10

Pittsburgh: 4-11

Wake Forest: 1-14

Baldwin the Eagle exclaimed, “We’ve been flying high all season.  Whipping Virginia was just proof of how good we are.  We’re going all the way this year.”

This exuberance was later tempered.  “It’s an honor to be on top of the ACC standings, but we still have six regular season games to go.  So we can’t get overly excited about this.  We need to continue to focus on each and every team we still have to play and go all-out in every game we play.  In fact we have two more games this week.  So we’re already concentrating on how we will contend with Syracuse tomorrow and then after that we will prepare for Wake Forest.  If we let down, any team in the ACC can beat us on a given night,” said Coach Frederick Aura.

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Feb. 15, 2028: #2 Boston College Eagles (23-2, 13-1) vs Syracuse Orange (11-12, 4-10) at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY

3rd Assistant Coach Rob Rowland (scouting)                      

Syracuse probably thought their two freshmen stars, PF George Plowman and SG Chad Lopez.  Those two have become team leaders with Plowman averaging 16.1 ppg and 6.9 rpg while Lopez has scored 9.3 ppg and dished out 3.1 apg.  Plowman has been the team’s leading scorer in 13 of the teams 23 games and Lopez has been top scorer in 3 games.  Overall though, Syracuse has been a poor shooting team.  And their man-to-man and 1-2-2 zone defenses have let their opponents score 72.1 ppg.  The Orange have lost the past 3 games and 8 of the last 10.  If we play up to our potential, we should take Syracuse even though it’s a road game for us.  I just hope our team gets off to a better start than we have in several of our recent games.

OK, I have to catch a flight to take in a game between Georgia Tech and North Carolina St. so I can scout both since we play both in the next two weeks. Therefor I’ll leave it up to someone else to tell you about our game with Syracuse.

Father Andrew Morgan

I was hoping my trip with the team would be somewhere other than Syracuse, but that’s what was ordained for me. It’s special to be able to impart some spiritual guidance to the team.  Most of the players are very open to that and I feel that it’s extremely important to have one of our brethren accompany the team each time their on road trips.  I try to catch as many of the team’s home games as I can, so I’m familiar with the team and its players.  I also know Coach Aura and his family very well.

No spectacular play to start the game, but we fought our way to an 8-4 advantage at the first media timeout.  But a good start for Courtland Reese as he scores 8 of the team’s first 15 points.  But our 9 point lead evaporated and the last part of the half was very close.  The Eagles finished the first half with a 37-34 advantage.  C Courtland Reese scored 16 and SF Leonard Meliet had 10 points in the first half.  For Syracuse, PF George Plowman scored 9 points.

Reese and Meliet continued to carry our offense in the early stages of the 2nd half as we spurted to a 44-35 lead.  Coach Aura’s full court press that he set during the halftime intermission caused several turnovers by the Orange.  But Syracuse hit some 3’s and came back, cutting the lead to a single point midway through the 2nd half.  With 1:24 left Syracuse tied the score at 65-65.  Meliet was fouled with 53 seconds to go.  He sunk both free throws giving us a 2 point lead again.  Syracuse got 3 shots on their next possession but missed all 3 and then intentionally fouled McFadgon.  Josh sunk both free throws to put us up by 4 with 18 seconds left.  Syracuse called a timeout and put up a 3 that rimmed out.   The Orange fouled James Lilly on the inbounds pass.  Lilly hit both shots.  We escaped a very close last 15 minutes and won 71-65. 

The leading scorer for the Eagles was SF Leonard Meliet who dropped in 22 points.  C Courtland Reese scored 21 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.  George Plowman finished with 17 points and 11 boards for Syracuse. 

Coach Aura looked as exhausted as his players after the game.

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Feb. 17, 2028: Wake Forest Demon Deacons (7-17, 1-14) vs #2 ranked Boston College Eagles (24-2, 14-1) at Silvio O. Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA

Randy Watkins, BC alum and member of the BC Hoop Club

This appears to be a big mismatch.  Let’s hope the Eagles don’t take the Demon Deacons too lightly and blow this.  Wake Forest has been the doormat of the ACC that past few years and has had an atrocious season thus far.  They’d like nothing better than to score a major upset by beating the Eagles tonight.

BC took a 13-0 lead in the first 4 minutes.  Wake Forest began scoring but the Eagles gradually expanded their lead.  Coach Aura subbed liberally.  When the half ended, Boston College was ahead 51-28.  SF Leonard Meliet was on fire, scoring 22 points in the half.

The second half was 20 minutes of subbing by Coach Aura.  The entire bench got plenty of playing time.  The lead grew to as much as 29 points and the final score was Boston College-88, Wake Forest-67.  That’s 9 straight wins for BC.

SF Leonard Meliet scored 32 points.  Reserve PF/C Jason Caldwell added 12 points.

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Malik Aura

We’ve gone to several of my brother Omari’s games for Providence.  The Friars are having a great season, 24-3 overall and 13-3 in the Big East, good enough for 2nd place, a game behind Creighton.  Providence is ranked #4 in the polls.

Omari is the backup at SF for Providence.  He’s averaging 13 mpg.  He’s been playing well, but he’s hit a low percentage of his shots.  He’s only averaging 1.1 ppg and 1.6 rpg.  But his high game stats are: 12 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks and 3 steals.  My dad thinks he has a chance to be a starter next season.

My high school team is doing well and I’m having a good season.  There’s been quite a few college scouts at our games and I’ve been getting calls from college coaches.  But since I’m just a junior this year, I’m trying not to get too involved with all that.  I figure there’s plenty of time this summer and next year to narrow down where I’d like to go to college.

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Feb. 20, 2028:  Virginia Tech Hokies (10-15, 4-11) vs #2 ranked Boston College Eagles (25-2, 15-1) at Silvio O. Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA

WHDH TV News and Sports at 11 p.m.

Sports Report with Aleeta Jamison

Tonight Boston College’s ACC-leading basketball team hosted Virginia Tech at Conte Arena.  The Eagles were trying to extend their win streak to 10 games.

BC’s defense took front stage early in the game, forcing the Hokies to make a bundle of turnovers which allowed the Eagles to build a 10 point lead just 8 minutes into the game.  Led by Leonard Meliet’s 14 points, the Eagles forged a 44-26 advantage at the end of the first half.  Virginia Tech made 15 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

Then in the 2nd half, Boston College ran away with it and trounced Virginia Tech by a final score of 94-60.  That kept the Eagles on top in the ACC, a game ahead of Virginia.

SF Leonard Meliet had his 2nd straight monster game, scoring 26 points.  PG Josh McFadgon popped in 19 points, reserve C Greg Kidd had 12 points, and SG James Lilly scored 10, grabbed 6 rebounds and had 4 assists and 3 steals.

We caught up with Coach Fred Aura after the game and he had this to say about his team’s play, “We controlled the game from start to finish.  We didn’t announce it prior to the game, but C Courtland Reese came down with food poisoning.  We expected to keep him out of the game, but he felt strong enough to play.  Even though he tired quickly, he played well while he was in the game and scored 8 points and pulled down 6 boards.  I was pleased with our defense tonight, particularly our forcing them to make 25 turnovers.  Our outside shooting was great tonight also as we hit over 50% of our 3’s.  And Leonard Meliet was on fire the entire game.  Not only was he a scoring machine but he had 6 rebounds and 6 assists as well.”

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Feb. 22, 2028: Florida State Seminoles (16-11, 6-10) vs #2 ranked Boston College Eagles (26-2, 16-1) at Silvio O. Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA

Travis Thompson, father of PG Phil Thompson

This is the first college game I have been able to attend to watch my son.  I’m a Ranger in the Army and have been on an extended deployment.  Finally got back to the States and flew up to Boston so I could see Phil and watch him play.  I’ve been following his team and checking his stats though.  I’m not surprised that he’s only averaging a little under 9 mpg on the court since he’s a freshman and they had a returning senior who started last season.  But I’m pleased his playing time has been increasing as the season has continued.  Phil has been shooting well, hitting a little over 40% of his FG’s, exactly 40% of his 3’s, and 81% of his FT’s.  The kid was always a good shooter. 

Since Virginia lost to Louisville today, a win tonight for the Eagles will give them a 2-1/2 game lead and a little breathing room in the ACC standings.

Wow, what a surprise!  They announced the starting lineup and Phil’s starting at PG tonight.  He didn’t tell me that, but he did play 22 minutes in the Eagles’ last game.  I’m tremendously excited.  Well yeah, and maybe a little nervous.

Phil looked pretty good directing the offense and guarding one of the Seminoles’ best scorers.  BC got out in front 8-0 in the first 3 minutes.  When he went to the bench 8 minutes into the game, the Eagles were on top 12-5.  I knew Courtland Reese was good, but he’s showing some really great moves.  Phil got back into the game with a little over 7 minutes remaining in the half and the Eagles ahead 24-11.  He played until there were 2 minutes before halftime with BC holding a 33-21 lead.  Phil had a couple really nice assists plus got inside and pulled down a rebound.  The half ended with Boston College ahead 38-25.  Courtland Reese had 16 points and 4 rebounds.  Florida State’s PG had just 1 points, so Phil did a good job handling him.  The Eagles hit 54% of their FG’s and totally dominated the boards.

Phil started the 2nd half also and on the Eagles’ first possession, made a beautiful pass to Leonard Meliet…his shot didn’t go down due to his being fouled, so no assist for Phil.  After 4 minutes of play, Phil cut off the guy he was defending who was trying to move to a leading pass from another Seminole…he couldn’t get to the ball…no stat for that but Phil’s play forced the turnover by Florida State.  Phil was subbed out at the 14:45 mark…the score was 49-33.  Florida State them made a run to cut BC’s lead to just 5 points with 7:46 remaining.  Phil was brought back into the game.  Phil got a good stop on the Seminoles’ point guard causing him to be called for travelling.  The Eagles reestablished a double digit lead, only to see the Seminoles again cut into it so that it was 66-60 with 3 minutes to go.  Phil was again subbed out.  With 2 minutes left, Florida State trailed by just 4 points.  But the Eagles fought back to go up 73-75 with 57 seconds on the clock.  Coach Aura brought in his best free throw shooters, including Phil.  Phil was fouled with 32 seconds to go…uncharacteristically he only made one of two shots.  He was fouled again with 18 seconds left…this time he canned both shots, putting the Eagles ahead by 7.  Florida State his a 3, but Boston College came away with a hard-fought 76-72 victory.  The Eagles outshot the Seminoles 52% to 46% and held a 36-26 rebounding advantage.  But the Seminoles hit 10 of 21 from beyond the arc and that’s what made it possible for them to come back to make the game close.

Leading the Eagles was C Courtland Reese with 28 points and 7 boards.  SF Leonard Meliet had 14 points and SG James Lilly scored 12 and had 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.  Phil played well but focused on defense, setting up plays, and distributing the ball, so he took just 2 shots from the field and missed those.  He scored 3 points on free throws.  His 23 minutes of play was his high mark thus far in college.  Florida State’s PG had just 4 points, well under his normal output, so Phil did well defensively.

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Janeka Aura

Our son Omari had a great game in Providence’s 68-62 win over Marquette tonight.  Omari hit 5 of 8 FG’s and scored 11 points.  He also pulled down 6 rebounds and had 1 assists, 2 steals, and a block.  Since the Friars were playing the same time as Boston College, we recorded the game from the TV and watched it late that night.  Lots of cheering in the Aura household.  Since Fred was a good rebounder when he was in college (he had the nickname then of “Crash” since he crashed the boards), he likes strong rebounders and was particularly impressed that Omari had a season-high 6 rebounds.  Providence is a half-game behind Creighton for 1st place in the Big East Conference standings.

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Janeka Aura

Our son Omari had a great game in Providence’s 68-62 win over Marquette tonight.  Omari hit 5 of 8 FG’s and scored 11 points.  He also pulled down 6 rebounds and had 1 assists, 2 steals, and a block.  Since the Friars were playing the same time as Boston College, we recorded the game from the TV and watched it late that night.  Lots of cheering in the Aura household.  Since Fred was a good rebounder when he was in college (he had the nickname then of “Crash” since he crashed the boards), he likes strong rebounders and was particularly impressed that Omari had a season-high 6 rebounds.  Providence is a half-game behind Creighton for 1st place in the Big East Conference standings.

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Feb. 27, 2028: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (14-15, 7-11) vs #2 ranked Boston College Eagles (27-2, 17-1) at Silvio O. Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA

Mary St. James, Boston College Athletic Department Publicist

With 2 games remaining in conference play, if we win tonight’s game, we’ll nail down the ACC championship.  We’re going to be sure to highly publicize that since the Eagles have NEVER placed first in the ACC in the 23 years since joining that conference.  A win tonight would also be a DOZEN straight wins, so the win streak is newsworthy as well.  Jason Braxton, our athletic director, says that getting this type of publicity widely distributed will help our future recruiting efforts.  I hope that our two top scorers, Courtland Reese and Leonard Meliet, have big games since that could work well into my publicity pieces.

In our previous game against Georgia Tech this winter, we won but it took overtime to get it done.  So tonight may not be a cakewalk even though the Yellow Jackets have lost their lat 3 games and 5 of their last 6.

James Lilly has a hot start, scoring 12 points in the 8 minutes of the game to give us a 26-12 lead.  He’s had a great career with us, so his story will be a good one for my publicity.  Great offensive show by our team to give us a 54-32 halftime lead.  We also controlled the boards.  SG James Lilly scored 14, PF/C Jason Caldwell came off the bench to score 11, SF James Meliet hit for 9, and C Courtland Reese added 7.

Our team just seemed to coast through the 2nd half.  But Georgia Tech began hitting most of their shots and got to within 6 points with 4-1/2 minutes left.  Coach Aura was visibly upset by how his team was playing defense.  He had to bring all his starters back into the game.  The Eagles held the Yellow Jackets off and won 100-89.

James Lilly had a tremendous game: 21 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks.  Leonard Meliet scored 17.  Jason Caldwell had a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.  Courtland Reese scored 13 points.  The Eagles scored 40 points in the paint and had 24 second chance points.

It’s fantastic that our team has played so well this season and will now be rewarded by being crowned ACC conference champs.  Now it’s up to me to get the word out throughout the country.

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Mar. 3, 2028: #2 Boston College Eagles (28-2, 18-1) vs #19 North Carolina Tar Heels (18-10, 11-8) at Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, NC

1st Assistant Coach David Woodruff (practice coach)

The Tar Heels aren’t a strong scoring team but are very good defensively and on the boards.  They’ve been very inconsistent this season so you never know what type of team you’re going to be up against.  Freshman PF A.J. Gainous is a real stud, averaging 19.5 ppg and 12.3 rpg. He’s scored 20-29 points in 8 games and 30-39 points in 4 games this season.

This road game will be a tough one.  Since we’ve locked in 1st place, we’re hoping the team doesn’t experience a letdown.  If they don’t play all-out, we’re going to be beaten.

After 4 minutes both SG James Lilly and C Courtland Reese had 2 fouls apiece which meant they’d ride the bench most of the rest of the half.  PF Marvin Reese joined them with 2 fouls 3 minutes later.  Turnovers by us plus free throws by them were keeping North Carolina on top.  Then the Tar Heels began hitting from outside and spurted out to a 35-15 lead with 8 minutes to go in the half.  When the half mercifully ended we were down 48-22.  The Tar Heels scored 20 points to our 6 at the free throw line.  We turned the ball over 11 times and hit just 22% of our shots.  A very poor effort on our part.  Coach Aura chewed the team out during the intermission.

We were unable to make a serious run in the 2nd half and ended up getting trounced 78-53.  Maybe it will serve notice to our guys that they have to play hard every game as they proceed through the ACC Tournament and then the NCAA Tourney.

Leonard Meliet and Michael Millford both scored 11 points.  The only bright spot was Millford’s play.  Meliet erased anything positive by making 10 of our 21 turnovers.

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