Miami 72, BC 71

Hurricanes have enough to stop BC

By Bill Van Smith
Globe Correspondent / January 16, 2011

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CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Reggie Jackson, Boston College’s star guard, was writhing in pain on the floor of the BankUnited Center as the final buzzer sounded.

However, the pain he was feeling from a sprained ankle didn’t hurt as much as the result of last night’s game, a 72-71 loss to Miami, the Eagles’ first in Atlantic Coast Conference play.

“It will be all right,’’ Jackson said of the ankle. “No biggie — it just happens.’’

The injury occurred as Jackson made a 3-pointer as time ran out. Miami possessed a 4-point lead and the Hurricanes made sure to not foul Jackson.

Even Jackson admitted the injury was not caused by a foul.

“No, not at all,’’ he said. “I just rolled the ankle on the way up.’’

Jackson hobbled toward the team bus on crutches. Nevertheless, he expects a quick recovery. “I really don’t expect to miss a day,’’ he said. “I’m going to do what I can to heal it right now. Actually, icing it and then put a compress wrap on it. I’m planning to go back to Boston and get ready for our next game.’’

Jackson, who leads the Eagles with 19.5 points per game, finished with 22 against Miami, 14 coming in the first half. “I got a little cold and couldn’t hit anything in the second half,’’ Jackson said. “Unfortunately, I had some open looks, but the shots didn’t go down.’’

Jackson was also involved in a key play late when he was blocked by Julian Gamble on a drive with 18 seconds left and Miami leading by 1. That forced BC to foul intentionally.

“I figured I had a layup with the lane open, and everybody all had their heads turned,’’ Jackson said. “But Gamble made a great play and turned his head at the right time and made a good, clean block.’’

No foul, but certainly some harm to BC’s chances of pulling out a victory.

Miami’s Reggie Johnson then made two free throws with three seconds left, boosting the Hurricanes’ margin to 72-68. All that was left was Jackson’s 3-pointer. Teammates gathered around the injured player and helped him to the locker room.

The loss left BC at 13-5 overall and 3-1 in the ACC. Miami is 12-5, 1-2.

BC coach Steve Donahue said, “I thought it was a terrific college basketball game where both teams played hard.’’

The contest was close throughout. The biggest lead was 6 points by Miami in the first half. In the second half, there were seven ties.

The Eagles went up, 60-55, in the second half, but quickly squandered the lead.

“When we got up by 5 we did a poor job on the next offensive possessions,’’ Donahue said. “We lost our poise in that situation, where we haven’t done that this year.’’

Joe Trapani added 14 points for BC and Josh Southern and Corey Raji had 13 apiece.

Miami was led by Durand Scott with 19 points, followed by Adrian Thomas with 13 and Garrius Adams with 12.

Miami took a 36-35 lead at halftime when Thomas, who had a team-high 11 points in the half, hit his third 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.

Next up for BC is a home game against Virginia Wednesday night.

“I don’t really look ahead too much,’’ Donahue said. “They did everything I could ask today. In terms of how we’re playing, there will be some ups and downs. This is one we need to bounce back from.’’