Steve Donahue's team had a good thing going, winning their first three ACC games entering Saturday's contest with Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. Unfortunately, that was the end of the road for Boston College's perfect conference record, as the Eagles fell to the Hurricanes, 72-71.
The Eagles look to rebound on Wednesday when they host conference foe Virginia at 7 p.m. EST at Conte Forum.
Boston College trails the all-time series against Virginia 4-7. The Eagles won the last meeting between the two schools, topping Virginia 66-54 at RBC Center on March 7, 2010. Prior to that, the Cavaliers had defeated BC in three straight games and four out of five times.
"They're playing great basketball," Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said about Boston College. "Coach [Donahue] has done a great job with them. They have some pretty good experience back. It's a veteran team. I know that they're obviously having some success early on, and they'll challenge you."
BC (13-5, 3-1 ACC) had won four of its last six games before losing to Miami. The Eagles opened the season with three wins in their first four games before going on a seven-game winning streak.
"I thought both teams played extremely well," Donahue said about the Miami game on Saturday in his weekly ACC teleconference. "I was pleased with a lot of things that we did in the game. And when it came down to it, Miami really executed in the last two minutes. Made the plays that they had to win the basketball game."
The Eagles suffered a scare at the end of Saturday's game when junior guard Reggie Jackson, the team's leading scorer, rolled his ankle after hitting a three pointer as time expired. Reports surfaced that Jackson would not miss any time due to the injury, letting BC fans breathe a sigh of relief.
"He's going to be fine," Donahue said. "It was just a rolled ankle."
Jackson is averaging 19.6 points, 4.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals. He is shooting 54.9% from the floor and 48.2% from beyond the arc. Joe Trapani is second in scoring, averaging 13.7 points, and is also second in rebounding with 6.6 boards per contest.
"We've got to continue to do everything a little better," Donahue noted. "And it's funny, I thought we did some things offensively and defensively really good in the Miami game. And obviously they were prepared as well."
Virginia (10-7, 1-2 ACC) is coming off a closely-contested 76-60 loss against then top-ranked Duke. The Cavaliers led by 10 points early in the first half, but the Blue Devils outscored Virginia 43-18 in the final 16 minutes of the game.
"Just trying to improve, learning from our last game in Cameron," said Bennett. "[We} played some good basketball for a good chunk of the game and didn't finish well. It's certainly a credit to Duke. Just certainly getting ready for a good Boston College team that has experience and trying to find a way to play a complete game."
The Cavaliers have lost their last two games against Duke and North Carolina (62-56). Prior to that, Virginia posted back-to-back victories over LSU and Howard.
Virginia's season can be described as inconsistent at best. The Cavaliers opened up the season with two straight wins against William & Mary (76-52) and South Carolina Upstate (74-54). Virginia dropped its next two games against Stanford and No. 17 Washington before defeating Oklahoma.
The Cavaliers lost to Wichita State before winning their next five against No. 15 Minnesota, Virginia Tech, Radford, Oregon and Norfolk State. Virginia then lost its next two against Seattle and Iowa State before defeating LSU.
Mike Scott is the Cavaliers' leading scorer, averaging 15.9 points, and is also Virginia's leading rebounder with 10.2 rebounds per game. Farrakhan is second in scoring, averaging 12.4 points, and Harris is third in scoring with 10.2 points per contest. K.T. Harrell is the only other Cavalier to average double-digit scoring, totaling 10 points per game.
Boston College returns to Florida for the third time this season to face ACC rival Florida State in its next game on Saturday, January 22nd. The Eagles face two tough opponents after that, traveling to face No. 4 Duke on January 27th and returning home to battle North Carolina on February 1st.