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St. Joseph's 84, BC 80

BC cools at finish, falls to St. Joseph’s

Staff and Wire Services / November 21, 2009

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ST. THOMAS, US Virgin Islands - Tied with Saint Joseph’s with two minutes remaining, Boston College hit a poorly timed cold snap and lost to the Hawks, 84-80, in the opening round of the Paradise Jam tournament.

Garrett Williamson pulled Saint Joseph’s (3-0) even at 76 with a layup with 2:03 remaining. BC missed its next four shots, including a Biko Paris 3-pointer and short-range attempt by Corey Raji, and Williamson converted on the other end with a foul-inducing layup, the 3-point play giving the Hawks a 79-76 lead with 38 seconds left.

The Eagles (2-1) answered on a layup by Reggie Jackson before Williamson restored the 3-point cushion with a pair of free throws with 12 seconds to play. Williamson scored 10 points in the final two minutes to finish with 18 overall.

With BC trailing, 82-80, in the final seconds, Jackson couldn’t get a layup to fall, and Williamson clinched it with two more foul shots.

“We got the shot we wanted [at the end],’’ said BC coach Al Skinner. “It’s just that, unfortunately, he didn’t put the ball in the basket.’’

BC led at halftime for the third straight game, 40-39, but lost its touch from long range in the second half, hitting only 3 of 13 3-point attempts. Overall BC was 6 of 21 from the arc, while Saint Joseph’s finished 10 of 21. Darrin Govens (16 points) was the Hawks’ top marksman, going 4 of 7.

“Our defense in the second half wasn’t what it should have been,’’ said Skinner. “We allowed them to shoot a really high percentage both from the floor and from the 3-point line.

“[Defense] and concentration were clearly lacking in the last 20 minutes of the ballgame.’’

Joe Trapani paced the Eagles with a game-high 20 points to go with 8 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Jackson totaled 18 points, a game-best 11 rebounds, and 4 assists, which matched Paris (9 points) for the team high.

BC outrebounded Saint Joseph’s, 46-38, by pounding the offensive glass. BC pulled down 21 offensive rebounds, including five each by Jackson and Raji (11 points).

In the loser’s bracket today, the Eagles will face South Dakota State, which lost to No. 7 Purdue, 74-63. The Boilermakers (2-0) were led by E’Twaun Moore (22 points) and Robbie Hummel (14).

“My objective the whole time was to try to win at least two games here if we can. Hopefully we’ll be able to do that. We still have to go out and play,’’ said Skinner.