Boston College 93, Bryant 77: Bulldogs Not A Problem For Josh Southern, BC

Josh Southern scored a career-high 18 points and Biko Paris added 18 points as Boston College won its sixth straight game, defeating Bryant 93-77 on Sunday afternoon at Conte Forum. Read more at BC Interruption.

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Boston College 93, Bryant 77: Bulldogs Not A Problem For Eagles

CHESTNUT HILL - We've seen it too many times before. A red-hot basketball team faces a down-and-out opponent, lets its guard down and pays the price for it. That was the last thing Boston College wanted to happen, and thanks to efficient passing and smart team play, it didn't.

Josh Southern scored a career-high 18 points and Biko Paris added 18 points as Boston College won its sixth straight game, defeating Bryant 93-77 on Sunday afternoon at Conte Forum. The win was the Eagles' sixth in a row and their seventh in the last eight games. 

"We've been preparing since the loss to Yale not to overlook any teams and come out and play our same game no matter who we're playing," said Paris. "The coach is doing a wonderful job getting us prepared mentally and physically to play teams like this."

Southern was 8-of-9 from the field and 2-for-3 at the free-throw line while Paris made 6-of-9  shots and scored all of his points from beyond the arc. Paris had shooting struggles earlier in the season, but has since found his stroke.

"Honestly, I don't think I've changed anything," Paris said. "I'm still getting the same shots I was getting at the beginning of the season. Fortunately for me, they're falling. I took some extra time after practices, get in the gym before practices, get some extra shots with one of the coaches. I'm just taking my time every time and following through. I guess I'm just fortunate right now."

Reggie Jackson scored 16 points and nine assists and Corey Raji added 15 points for the Eagles. Joe Trapani finished the game with 11 points, making a game-high 6-of-10 free throws. 

"I think if we're going to be a good basketball team, that's how we're going to do it," Boston College head coach Steve Donahue said about having multiple player score in double digits. "I don't really envision one guy getting 30 points and the other guys getting 10. I think we play that way, we share the basketball. If a guys open, he shoots it. We don't really try to look at it as an opportunity where we should just get one guy shots."

Alex Francis and Matthew Lee both scored 15 points for Bryant. Frankie Dobbs was the only other Bulldog to score in double digits, finishing with 12 points.

Boston College (9-2) opened the game on an 8-2 run, but Bryant (1-9) was able to cut the lead to 14-11 five minutes in. The Bulldogs kept the game close for the first 10 minutes, cutting the Eagles' lead down to two points, 26-24, midway through the opening half.

"We were just very conservative in our close outs," Donahue said about Bryant's early comeback bid.

However, the Eagles hit a string of threes during a 14-0 run to take a 40-24 lead with 5:16 remaining. Boston College would close out the half on an 11-10 run and took a 51-34 lead into the break.

Boston College made 18-of-28 shots and 8-of-13 three pointers while Bryant connected on 14-of-27 field goals and made 6-of-13 threes in the first half. The most remarkable stat of the half was the Eagles' assist-to-turnover ratio (14 assists, 1 turnover). Bryant had nine assists and 10 turnovers in the first half.

"They're doing everything I want offensively," Donahue said. "They're sharing the basketball. It was a flawless game in terms of handling the basketball. There were very few decisions I was wondering why we did that. I think that's what makes us a good basketball team."

The second half feature more of the same for Boston College, which continued its effective passing and smart play throughout the final twenty minutes to seal victory number nine of the season.

The Eagles finished the game 34-for-59 from the field (57.6%) and 13-for-23 from distance (56.5%). Boston College collected 23 rebounds, 25 assists, nine steals and had five turnovers for the game.

"I thought we obviously played well offensively," said Donahue. "I think Bryant, and it's hard to tell people because they've struggled for two seasons, but it's a much improved basketball team that probably should have won a couple games. I'm happy with our offense, and we need to continue to improve on the defensive end."

Bryant wasn't as fortunate, making 29-of-60 field goals (48.3%) and 11-of-29 threes (37.9%) in forty minutes. The Bulldogs had 35 rebounds, 15 assists, one steal and 17 turnovers in the losing effort.

"We have to do a better job, we're not disciplined enough," Donahue said about his teams effort on the boards. "It's my responsibility to hold these guys accountable. It's just something we need to get continue to get better at."

Boston College hosts Bucknell at 7p.m. EST on Wednesday in its final game of the year at Conte Forum. The Eagles head south to face Rhode Island after that on Wednesday, December 29th in their 2010 finale.

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Bryant Vs. Boston College: Eagles Lead Bulldogs 51-34 At Halftime

CHESTNUT HILL - Reggie Jackson scored 12 points and Corey Raji added 11 points as Boston College took a 51-34 lead over Bryant into the intermission on Sunday afternoon at Conte Forum.

Biko Paris scored nine points, Josh Southern added eight points and Danny Rubin had three points for the Eagles.

Matthew Lee led all scorers with 13 points for Bryant. Frankie Dobbs added eight points and Cecil Gresham had five points for the Bulldogs.

Boston College opened the game on an 8-2 run, but Bryant was able to cut the lead to 14-11 five minutes in. The Bulldogs kept the game close for the first 10 minutes, cutting the Eagles' lead down to two points, 26-24, midway through the opening half. However, the Eagles hit a string of threes to build up their lead before halftime.

Boston College made 18-of-28 shots and 8-of-13 three pointers while Bryant connected on 14-of-27 field goals and made 6-of-13 threes in the first half.

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Bryant Vs. Boston College: Greetings From Conte Forum

CHESTNUT HILL - I've arrived at Conte Forum a little bit early, partly because I like to get here early and also because the No. 24/25 Boston College women's basketball team is facing UNC-Wilmington in the first game of a double header.

Of course, the second game of the double header features Steve Donahue and the Eagles' mens basketball team facing the Bryant Bulldogs.

Boston College (8-2, 1-0 ACC) has been red-hot as of late, winning five games in a row and six of its last seven games dating back to Thanksgiving Day. Bryant (1-8, 0-1 Northeast), on the other hand, hasn't been as lucky. The Bulldogs are riding a six game losing streak and have lost seven of their last eight.

Bryant's only win of the season came against Iona when the Bulldogs posted a 74-72 victory. Needless to say, but I'll say it anyways, Bryant's mens basketball program is struggling ever since it made the jump to Division I in 2008.

The Bulldogs do have a significant tie to Chestnut Hills, however, as Bryant head coach Tim O'Shea was an assistant coach at Boston College in 1985-86 and again from 1997 through 2001. O'Shea played college basketball in Chestnut Hill as well from 1980 to 1984.

Here's a more in-depth look at the rebuilding of the Bryant basketball team on Boston.com: Bulldog Mentality.

In their inaugural Division I campaign, Bryant finished a dismal 1-29. They say it's pretty hard to win every game in a season, which is absolutely true, but I've always thought that its hard to lose almost every game in a season. It's apparently not, and Bryant made it look easy in 2009-10. Take a look for yourself: Bryant 2009-10 Schedule.

The Bulldogs of 2009-10 lost a remarkable 26 games in a row before finally notching their first and only win of the season, a 53-51 win over Wagner on Thursday, February 18th. That winning streak was short-lived, though, as Bryant finished the season off with three straight losses.

Again, these are certainly tough times for Bryant's mens basketball team. That being said, anything can happen in the world of sports. Do I think Bryant will defeat Boston College today? Absolutely not (Prediction: Boston College 95, Bryant 68). However, stranger things have happened, and while it is unlikely, it is absolutely possible.

Both teams are going in opposite directions (that's an understatement), so the outcome should be a predictable one here at Conte Forum on this wonderful Sunday afternoon.

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Bryant Vs. Boston College: Eagles Looking For Sixth Straight Win

Boston College may have been picked to finish 10th in the ACC this season, but don't tell Eagles coach Steve Donahue.

Through 10 games, Donahue has the Eagles playing some stellar basketball. Boston College is 8-2 and is coming off a 79-75 win over Maryland in the first ACC tilt for both teams. 

The Eagles will look to win their fifth game in a row when they host non-conference opponent Bryant at Conte Forum on Sunday at 3 p.m. EST (WRKO).

Boston College leads the all-time series against Bryant 1-0. The first meeting between the two teams was on December 10th, 2008 when the Eagles steamrolled the Bulldogs 80-61 at Conte Forum.

In Boston College's win over Maryland, Biko Paris scored a career-high 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Paris was red hot from distance, making 6-of-10 three pointers in the Eagles' first true road game of the year.

"The opportunities just presented themselves," Paris said. "I never prearrange how many shots I'm going to take before a game I just take whatever they give me."

Boston College is excelling from the perimeter this year, having made 85-of-230 threes to shoot 37% from deep.

"In practice we take a lot more three-pointers than we usually would have taken in the past," said Paris, who is averaging 10.8 points and is shooting 38.8% from beyond the arc this season. "Coach [Steve Donahue] stresses a lot about getting extra shots in after practice and working with each other on our shots. We've just been establishing ourselves as who we are as a team, we shoot threes and play hard on defense. Shooting threes is just a part of who were are now."

When push comes to shove, Donahue believes that practice makes perfect, and his team has proven it.

"I think the reason we are shooting three-pointers better is because our guys work really hard and put in extra time outside of practice," Donahue said. "I can't remember the last time I told one of my guys they had taken a bad shot because I don't want to put that thought in their heads. We want to teach them as much as we can about playing the game, but I don't want them to ever think they shouldn't shoot the basketball."

Reggie Jackson has been the Eagles' catalyst this season, averaging a team-high 19.2 points, 4.5 assists and 1.4 steals. He ranks second in the ACC in scoring, third in three-point shooting percentage 47.8% and third in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4).

Joe Trapaniwho became the 38th player in Boston College history to score 1,000 points in the Eagles' last game, is second on the team in scoring, averaging 12.8 points and 6.1 rebounds.

Corey Raji is third in scoring, averaging 11.1 points, and leads the team in rebounding with 6.6 boards per game. He scored 11 points against Maryland, nine of which came in the second half, in his return from a concussion that sidelined him for two and a half games.

Danny Rubin and Josh Southern round out the Eagles' attack, averaging 7.8 and 7.4 points, respectively. Rubin scored nine points on 3-of-6 shooting from the perimeter against Maryland while Southern finished with six points and six rebounds against the Terps.

Southern is expected to start his third game of the season on Sunday against Bryant. After missing the Eagles' season-opener and playing limited minutes in the next six games, Southern started for the first time this season against Providence and finished with a career-high 16 points and nine rebounds. In the prior game against UMass, Southern also had 16 points and collected seven rebounds.

Bryant is off to a dismal 1-8 start this season. To make matters worse, the Bulldogs are riding a six game losing streak and have lost seven of their last eight games. 

After losing to Cleveland State (71-57) and Kent State (90-49), Bryant won its first and only game of the year, 74-72, against Iona on Raphael Jordan's game-winning three at the final buzzer.

However, the Bulldogs went on to lose their next five against Army (76-66), Harvard (69-66), Lehigh (88-66), Farleigh Dickinson (78-68) and Yale (75-53).

The Bulldogs dropped their last game against Columbia 76-72. Bryant led 68-67 with 1:02 remaining, but Steve Frankoski (11 points) hit a three on the next possesion to give Columbia the lead for good. Frankie Dobbs and Alex Francis each scored 16 points, Cecil Gresham added 14 points and Matthew Lee had 11 points.

Dobbs leads Bryant in scoring, averaging 14.8 points. Gresham averages 13.3 points and Francis is averaging 12.4 points and a team-best 7.4 rebounds for the Bulldogs.

Following Sunday's game, Boston College will face Bucknell on at 7 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 22nd at Conte Forum.

PREDICTION: Boston College 95, Bryant 68 - The Eagles and Bulldogs are heading in different directions this season, and as a result, the Eagles should have their way at Conte Forum. Reggie Jackson, Joe Trapani and Corey Raji should all reach double-digits in scoring, with Jackson scoring more than 20 points.

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