Saturday, January 1, 2011

Eagles bomb South Carolina to start 2011 right

After such a disappointing loss to Rhode Island, many of us wondered how the Boston College Eagles would respond on the road in South Carolina.

Didn't take us long to find out the answer.

The Eagles took the Gamecocks to the woodshed on New Year's Day, beating SC on the road by a final score of 85-70, and even that was not truly indicative of how well BC played.  Outside of maybe the first ten minutes of the game, Boston College completely outplayed South Carolina in nearly all phases of the game.  The lead in the second half ran out to as many as 29 points before the Cocks scored some garbage-time points against the walk-ons to narrow the margin.

Joe Trapani led the Eagles with 23 points, with Biko Paris collecting 18 and Corey Raji with a double-double off the bench, a total of 16 points and 12 boards.  This strong victory came on a night where Eagles reclamation project Josh Southern had essentially a no-show game, garnering twice as many turnovers (4) as points (2) in only 13 minutes of action.

Texas A&M is perhaps BC's best win of the year, but tonight was almost certainly the Eagles' best-played game so far.  The Gamecocks aren't a horrible team but they're far from the elite, with their only win that comes close to resembling quality being over Clemson.  They should not end up being much of a factor in the national tournament picture in March, but that should not take away from BC's accomplishment tonight.  They went on the road to a major-conference school and beat the stuffing out of them, coming off of a loss.  It was exactly what the Eagles needed to get back on track.

With the win, as I mentioned on Twitter, BC has now beaten a team in each of the power conferences, whether they end up being good or bad teams: the ACC (Maryland, with hopefully many more to follow), Big East (Providence), Big Ten (Indiana), Big 12 (Texas A&M), Pac-10 (California), and now the SEC with South Carolina.  Outside of the Yale loss, the Eagles are putting together a respectable, well-rounded resume that I hope glistens in March.

Boston College sits at 11-3 and comes back home on Wednesday to face a REAL test: why yes, it's Harvard, the doom-bringers from Cambridge who have tarnished our program the last few seasons.

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