Entering Saturday’s game against Virginia, one golden number stood out for BC: 51.
It is the number of points per game allowed by Virginia’s defense, the second lowest mark in the country. If the Eagles were to snap their three-game losing skid, they knew they would have to find a way to eclipse that total.
The Cavaliers let them right to 51, but no further, and ran away with a 65-51 win thanks to a 41-point explosion in the second half.
The loss drops the Eagles to 9-10 on the season (1-5 ACC). After starting the year 8-5, they have lost four of their last five games since beginning conference play, albeit in competitive fashion.
Before Saturday’s game, BC’s average margin of defeat in conference games was just 3.75 points. A three pointer here, and a made free throw there, and the Eagles would have taken the court in Charlottesville as the ACC juggernaut.
In the first half Saturday, the Eagles showed this same persistent nature, out-defending one of the country’s best defenses and carrying a 26-24 lead into the locker room at half. Their two-point edge was earned in large part behind the arch, where the Eagles sank five threes, four of them coming in a 12-0 run just before the half.
But as any basketball team knows living by the three is a dangerous approach. For just as quickly as the power can go on, it go out even quicker.
After being lights out from three-point range in the first half, the lights then went out for the Eagles in the second half. They would score just two three pointers in the final 20 minutes to finish 7-22 on the afternoon.
Meanwhile, Virginia began converting with ease on the other end. Trailing 28-26 early in the second half, the Cavaliers ripped off a 16-3 run and never looked back.
The streak was punctuated by a Justin Anderson three-point play which gave the Cavs a 42-31 lead and an open highway to the finish line. Try though they did to pull themselves back in the game, the Eagles simply couldn’t break down Virginia’s stingy defense.
Ryan Anderson led BC scorers with 14 points, while Joe Rahon added ten of his own.
The Eagles are back in action this Tuesday at home against UNC.