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CHESTNUT HILL - Joe Trapani hasn't had the best of luck shooting this season, but you wouldn't have been able to tell on Wednesday night.
Trapani made 7-of-14 shots and 4-of-5 free throws on the way to a game-high 18 points as Boston College edged ACC foe Virginia, 70-67, in front of 4,628 fans at Conte Forum.
"I thought it was a hard-fought game," said Boston College head coach Steve Donahue. "It felt like a league game where each team knows each other very well, neither one gives an inch."
Trapani didn't have any success from distance, missing all three of his shots from distance, but was dominant in the paint were he scored 12 points (eight in the first half).
"Coach [Donahue] always says if your shot's not falling, obviously keep shooting, but I tried to find other ways to get into the mix on offense, so I was able to take it to the basket and finish," said Trapani.
Reggie Jackson scored 16 points in the contest, including his 1,000th career point on a three from the corner with 3:53 left in the game. Jackson became the 39th player in school history to reach the historic milestone, joining teammates Corey Raji and Trapani, who achieved the feat earlier this season.
"I didn't even know I was close until I came in during shoot-around and the fans were heckling me," Jackson said. "I'm happy it's done with, I don't have to worry about it."
Biko Paris chipped in with 12 points and one assist and Raji totaled 10 points and five rebounds for the Eagles.
Mustapha Farrakhan led the Cavaliers with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Freshman KT Harrell scored 13 points and both Assane Sene and Joe Harris added 11 points a piece for Virginia.
Boston College shot an uncharacteristically low 40.7% from the field (22-of-54) and 28.6% from long distance (6-of-21). Virginia made 25-of-57 shots (43.9%) and 9-of-23 three pointers (39.1%) in the loss. The Eagles are now 5-2 when shooting the same or worse than their opponent.
"They made it very difficult for us to run our offense," Donahue said. "That's a credit to [Virginia head coach] Tony [Bennett] and his staff and his players."
Virginia (10-8, 1-3 ACC) jumped out to an 11-6 lead with 13:10 left in the first half and played stellar defense through the first ten minutes of the game. Boston College (14-5, 4-1 ACC) tied the game at 11 on a three-pointer from Dallas Elmore (five points) with 9:47 remaining in the opening half.
Elmore's three kicked off a 14-4 run for Boston College, giving the Eagles a 25-15 lead with 5:03 to go in the half. The Eagles built their lead to 33-23 with 1:14 left in the opening half, but the Cavaliers chipped away in the final minute, closing out the half on a 5-1 run to cut the BC lead to five, 34-28, entering halftime.
The Eagles made 11-of-28 shots (39.3%) and 3-of-12 three pointers (25%) while the Cavaliers drained 12-of-28 field goals and 3-of-12 threes in the first half.
Virginia opened the second half with a 13-6 run to tie the game at 41 with 16:20 left. BC quelled the Cavaliers' run momentarily, but Virginia kept the pressure on, ultimately taking a 57-56 lead with 6:44 remaining.
Raji's jumper with 4:28 left put BC up by one, 58-57. Sene tied the game at 58 after making one-of-two free throws with 3:53 to go. The Eagles pulled ahead for good on Jackson's three with 3:36 left, marking his 1,001st career point.
Raji made one-of-two free throws to build the lead to 62-58 at 2:51. Farrakhan added a point from the free throw line with 2:45 left and Harris' three with 1:41 left tied the game at 62.
The Eagles took the lead for good when Paris hit a pair of free throws with 1:29 to play. Raji hit two more free throws to give BC a 66-62 advantage, but Sene trimmed the lead to two with his second-chance put-back with 42 ticks remaining.
After a pair of Jackson free throws, Sammy Zeglinski (six points) drained a straightaway three with seven seconds left, once again bringing Virginia within one, 68-67.
Jackson buried two more free throws, his fifth and sixth of the night, to ice the game. Billy Baron threw up a prayer from the Eagles' three-point line, but it came up well short.
"Free throws are big," Jackson said. "It puts pressure on the other team. If I don't hit the last two, maybe that miracle [shot] goes down and hurts us. We very much pay respect to our practice and what coach does for us."
The Eagles tallied 34 rebounds (11 offensive), 12 assists, three blocks and had five turnovers. The Cavaliers had 34 rebounds (12 offensive), 12 assists, five blocks, two steals and turned the ball over seven times.
WHAT'S NEXT: Boston College returns to Florida for the third time this season to face ACC opponent Florida State on Saturday at 7 p.m. EST (ESPNU). Virginia will face conference rival Georgia Tech at home on Saturday at noon.
Boston College moves to 5-7 in the all-time series and 5-4 in conference play against Virginia. The Eagles sank 8-of-8 free throws in the final 1:30 of the game...Eagles head coach Steve Donahue earned his 160th career win...Junior guard Reggie Jackson posted 16 points to record the 52nd double-digit scoring game of his career and registered his ACC-best 16th consecutive game with 10 or more points.
CHESTNUT HILL - Boston College junior guard Reggie Jackson scored his 1,000th career point on a three-pointer from the corner with 3:35 left in the second half at Conte Forum. With the trey, Jackson now how 1,001 career points.
Jackson entered tonight's game with 989 career points. He became the 39th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point milestone, joining teammates Corey Raji and Joe Trapani, who achieved the feat earlier this season.
Boston College currently leads Virginia 61-58 with 2:52 remaining in the second half.
CHESTNUT HILL - Joe Trapani scored 12 points in the first half as Boston College leads Virginia,34-28, entering halftime at Conte Forum.
Eagles junior guard Reggie Jackson, who entered tonight's game with 989 career points, finished the first half with four points, leaving him seven points shy of 1,000 for his career. If Jackson reaches the milestone, he will become the 39th player in school history to score 1,000 career points.
Biko Paris finished the half with seven points for the Eagles. Corey Raji scored three points and Dallas Elmore added three points off the bench for Boston College.
JT Harrell had eight points and Jontel Evans scored six first-half points to lead the Cavaliers. Mustapha Farrakhan had six points and Assane Sene added three points for Virginia.
Boston College made 11-of-28 shots and 3-of-12 threes and Virginia hit 12-of-28 field goals and 3-of-12 shots from beyond the arc in the opening half.
CHESTNUT HILL – Boston College junior guard Reggie Jackson enters tonight’s game against ACC rival Virginia with 989 career points, leaving him 11 points shy of reaching the historic 1,000-point plateau.
If Jackson reached 1,000 career points, he will be the 39th player in school historic to reach the milestone. Corey Raji and Joe Trapani scored their 1,000th career points earlier in the season, with Raji doing so against Indiana on December 1st and Trapani reaching the milestone on December 12th against Maryland.
Jackson scored a team-high 22 points in the Eagles’ last game, a loss to Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.
The only factor that might hold Jackson back from scoring his 1,000th career point is an ankle injury, which he suffered on the final play of BC’s loss to the Hurricanes on Saturday.
Eagles head coach Steve Donahue said that Jackson is fine. As of now, Jackson is expected to start tonight for Boston College.
Check back with SB Nation Boston throughout the game for updates on Jackson’s pursuit of the milestone, as well as for updates on the game.
In the latest edition of Five Good Minutes on BC Interruption, Brian Leung of Streaking The Lawn, SB Nation's Virginia blog, predicted that the Cavaliers will defeat Boston College tonight, 74-68, at Conte Forum.
Here's what Leung had to say on the matter.
BCI: Last one. Prediction time. Who ya got in this one? What's the final score?
STL: Virginia is ready for this. The Cavaliers have learned now that they can hoop with the best in the country; they just need to do it for a full 40 minutes. You can bet that Bennett has drilled this into the players' minds all week long. I trust that our defense, which continues to improve each game, will not pull a Washington (wherein we gave up 17 threes, or 65.4 3P% shooting). If BC's defense is as spotty as some would suggest, that's a good sign for a Cavalier offense that's trying to build a little confidence. Virginia will break the 70-point barrier. BC will not. Final Score: Virginia 74, Boston College 68.
To read the complete Virginia/Boston College game preview on BC Interruption, click here. Check back with SB Nation Boston, as well as BC Interruption and Streaking The Lawn, throughout tonight's game for updates.
CHESTNUT HILL - Losing to Miami is certainly understandable, as the Hurricanes have been the ACC's best home team, winning all eight of their true home games. However, losing to Virginia would seriously damage Boston College's credibility after their strong start in ACC play.
The Eagles will attempt to avoid an upset loss tonight when they host the Cavaliers at 7 p.m. EST at Conte Forum.
Virginia (10-7, 1-2 ACC) is certainly not a pushover, but Boston College (13-5, 3-1 ACC) has looked like the better team though its first 18 games, so much so that they are in second place in the conference.
That being said, there's a reason you play the games. Is Virginia, led by Mustapha Farrakhan (12.4 PPG) and Joe Harris (10.2 PPG), capable of beating Boston College? Of course. Is it likely the Cavaliers will do so on Wednesday night? In my opinion, no.
My reasoning? Boston College has not lost two games in a row this season under new head coach Steve Donahue. The passion and determination that Donahue has instilled in the 2010-11 Eagles' leads me to believe that there is little chance BC will drop two important conference games in a row (that aren't against Duke and North Carolina).
Prediction: Boston College 84, Virginia 76 - It's unreasonable to expect that any one ACC team will blow out another, although it certainly has happened this season. Tony Bennett's Cavaliers should bring their 'A' game into Conte Forum tonight coming off a tough loss to then top-ranked Duke. Unfortunately for Bennett, I expect Steve Donahue's team to bring their 'A+' game. The Eagles should win and will likely do so by a comfortable margin.
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.