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Boston College 85, Philadelphia 58: Eagles Topple Rams In Steve Donahue's Debut

CHESTNUT HILL - Joe Trapani and Biko Paris each had 18 points, Reggie Jackson scored 16 points and had 11 assists and Corey Raji added 15 points as Boston College defeated Philadelphia University 83-51 in its only exhibition game at Conte Forum on Saturday afternoon.

The game marked the debut of the Eagles' new coach, Steve Donahue, who was greeted with loud cheers when he was introduced before the game.

"More than the win, I thought we came out with really good energy and enthusiasm and shared the ball," said Donahue. "It's not a finished product, but I thought for long stretches we played good basketball. There's obviously a ton we have to work on, but I think we were better than we were a week ago when we scrimmaged Boston University."

The win was highlighted be stellar outside shooting from Boston College. The Eagles made 15-of-33 shots from beyond the arch to shoot 45.5% for the game.

"I thought they gave us a lot of open looks," Donahue said. " I feel that we have four or five guys that can shoot the three. More importantly, I think it’s something that we worked on for the last six months with these guys, letting them know that it’s going to be part of the offense, part of the spacing that you’re going to have to shoot and make them."

In particular, Raji, who is not known for his outside shooting, had a good day from the perimeter, making 3-of-6 shots.

"I saw him play in high school, and he shot the three," Donahue noted. "I think he just got out of that with what they wanted here. It's not his fault and it's not the coaching staff's fault. They kind of wanted him to be physical and get the ball down low, and we still want him to do that. But I also think he's a guy, if he works on his shot and get him with his feet set, I think he's someone that could make that shot."

Another top performer from long range was Paris, who struggled offensively for most of last season.

"He got six open looks and he made four threes," said Donahue. "I think he’s playing with great confidence. He’s in great shape this year. I think were asking him to make simple decisions, it’s not run the offense, it’s space out and make plays. He’s been very good since he got here and I think you’re going to see him have a great year."

Corey Francisco scored the game's first points for Philadelphia (0-1) on a jump shot with 19:43 to go in the first half.

Boston College (1-0) struggled in the early going, missing its first four shots before Jackson connected on a straight-away three with 18:09 left to give the Eagles their first lead of the 2010-11 campaign.

From there on out, Boston College never looked back.

Raji made a jumper with 17:24 to play and another with 14:37 to give Boston College a 7-2 lead. The Rams cut the Eagles' lead to 7-5 with 14:07 remaining.

After a momentum-shifting dunk by senior forward Joe Trapani and a layup from Jackson, Boston College had built the lead up to 11-5 with 12:58 to go.

Temi Adebayo had a layup and Jimmy Connolly connected on a three-pointer to bring Philadelphia within two midway through the half, but that was as close as the Rams would get.

The Eagles went on a 20-3 run to give them a 30-13 lead with 4:36 left before halftime and closed out the half on an 8-6 run to take a 38-22 lead into the break.

In the half, Boston College was lights-out from the perimeter, making 9-of-19 shots (47.4%). The Eagles shot 43.3% from the field (13-of-30) in the half, collected 18 rebounds (12 defensive, six offensive) and had 13 assists.

Philadelphia shot 36.4% (8-of-22) in the half, including a dismal 22.2% (2-of-9) from three-point range, and has 14 rebounds, five assists and nine turnovers.

Raji was tied with Connolly for a game-high 10 points in the half. Jackson had nine points and four assists while Trapani added seven points and five rebounds for the Eagles.

It was more of the same for Boston College in the second half. The Eagles opened the period on a 24-12 run to open the half and built their lead to 62-33 with 12:25 left and were able to fend off the Rams to notch the victory.

Dallas Elmore also had a solid game for Boston College, scoring 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting. Courtney Dunn had four points and four rebounds and both senior Chris Kowalski and Peter Rehnquist had two points a piece.

Boston College made 31-of-61 shots in the game (50.8% and totaled 37 rebounds, 26 assists, 11 turnovers and four steals.

As for Philadelphia, it connected on 21-of-52 shots (40.4%) and had 27 rebounds, 12 assists and 16 turnovers in the loss.

On the whole, Donahue was very please with his team's performance.

"I am, if I can compare it to where we were a week ago," he said. "I thought our defense and 1-3-1 gave us energy. I thought the kids played enthusiastic and I thought we shared the ball. In stretches, I thought we were very good. It's not a finished product. It's going to have to be 40 minutes of that if we've going to beat the teams that we're going to play against."

Boston College opens the regular season this coming Friday, November 12th, when it hosts St. Francis of New York at Conte Forum at 7 p.m. ET.