CHESTNUT HILL - Something had to give at Conte Forum on Wednesday night.
Boston College was riding a three game winning streak and had won three of its last four games while Providence had won five in a row and nine of their first 10 games. When all was said and done, one team's winning streak would be over.
Reggie Jackson made sure that it was the Friars' streak that came to an end, scoring a team-high 26 points en route to Boston College's 88-86 victory against Big East foe Providence.
"I thought it was once again a very exciting college basketball game," said Boston College head coach Steve Donahue. "Providence is playing with such confidence right now. When they got down by 15, it seems like the way they play, it's almost like thats even more dangerous, because they play with such reckless abandonment."
Joe Trapani finished the game with 14 points after scoring six points in the first half. Trapani, who entered Wednesday night's game with 985 points, fell one point shy of 1,000 for his career. He will be the 38th player in school history to reach the historic milestone when he scores his next two points.
Josh Southern, who started for the first time this season, tied a career-high with 16 points and also had nine rebounds. Southern had seen limited playing time while recuperating from minor intestinal surgery in the offseason and got the start in place of Cortney Dunn, who was suspended for three games by Donahue following a violation of team rules.
"Amazing," Jackson said about having Southern back on the court. "Sometimes we feel like we've been missing him but he's really been showing what he can do. Conditioning has been a big factor. In the past, he's been kind of slouched just from being tired and fatigued, but he's battled through mental fatigue and physical fatigue just from working out and its shown."
"I thought he was terrific," Donahue said about Southern. "He's basically missed five shots since he's come back, he makes every shot. I think as he gets in better shape, you'll see more double-doubles and rebounds will go up and things like that. He's just a very good basketball player, he's got a great feel for the game."
Marshon Brooks led all scorers with 28 points for Providence. Vincent Council had 13 points, Duke Mondy scored 12 points and Bryce Cotton finished with 10 points for the Friars.
The Eagles shot 51.7% from the field (30-for-58) and are now 3-0 when shooting above 50%. Boston College also made 12-of-24 three-pointers (50%) but shot 57.1% from the charity stride (16-of-28).
"A lot of us are kind of disappointed with 16-of-28 from the free throw line, but for the most part we feel we were sharing the ball," Jackson said. "It was obvious that people had kind of contested lay ups that they can go either way, probably a 70-30 chance, 70% make it, 30% miss it. But weve been passing those up, obviously it showed on the offense shooting fifty plus percent tonight."
Providence had a miserable shooting night, making only 27-of-71 shots (38%), 11-of-33 threes (33.3%) and 21-of-29 free throws (72.4%).
Boston College (7-2) jumped out to a 9-0 lead courtesy of three consecutive three-pointers from Biko Paris, Danny Rubin and Joe Trapani. However, Providence (9-2) responded with a 9-0 run of its own to tie the game. Dallas Elmore then buried a three to give the Eagles a 12-9 advantage with nearly 15 minutes remaining in the half.
After Providence cut the Eagles' lead to one at 16-15, Boston College went on a 12-2 run to grab a comfortable 28-17 advantage with 7:13 remaining. The Friars scored the next six points to trim the lead to 28-23 at the six minute mark and were able to get within four points at 30-26 with under five minutes before the break.
However, Boston College found its stroke and rebuilt the lead to 36-26 after a Jackson three-pointer with three minutes left and ultimately took a 42-31 lead into halftime.
Boston College made 14-of-29 field goals and 7-of-14 three pointers while Providence connected on 11-of-32 shots and 5-of-15 threes in the opening period.
Southern led all scorers with 10 points at halftime for Boston College. Jackson scored nine points and Paris scored eight for the Eagles.
Brooks lead Providence with seven points at the break. Cotton and Kadeem Batts each scored six points and Council and Mondy both had five points for the Friars.
Providence was unable to get back into the game early in the second half, trailing Boston College 66-51 halfway through the period. The Friars were able to cut the lead to one point, 86-85, but that was as close as they'd get.
After making a pair of free throws to cut the lead to two, the Friars opted not to foul right away, letting 12 seconds tick off the clock before Paris finally called a timeout for the Eagles. After the timeout, Trapani threw down a dunk to give the Eagles an 87-83 advantage with 5.3 seconds remaining.
Mondy nailed a desperation three to bring the Friars within one, 86-85, with two seconds left. The Eagles' inbounded the ball to Trapani, who was fouled with 1.8 seconds to play. Trapani hit the first free throw but missed the second, giving the Friars a shot to win the game.
Council fired up a full-court prayer as time expired that barely missed, rimming in and out to seal the Eagles' victory.
"I was thinking, theres no way he can take that many dribbles to get the shot off," Jackson said about Council's final shot attempt. "Then I turned my head, and oh my goodness it looks like its going to go in. Fortunately, it was going too fast, hit the backboard and rattled out. Like coach said, they battled back, but fortunately we came out with the win tonight."
Boston College travels to the Comcast Center to take on Maryland in its first ACC game of the season on Sunday at 4 p.m. EST. Providence will face Alabama at home on Saturday at 2 p.m. EST (ESPNU).
Boston College won the 105th meeting against Providence - the third straight - to move to 48-57 in the all-time series...The win moves Boston College to 7-2, the fifth time in sixth seasons the Eagles have started with that record through the first nine games. BC started 6-3 in 2009-10...The Eagles sank a season-high 30 baskets for their most efficient field goal percentage of the year (.517)...BC also shot a season-best from behind the arc (12-for-24)... Four Eagles scored in double-digits for the second time this season (vs. Holy Cross)... The Eagles led 42-31 at the intermission, giving the Friars their second largest halftime deficit (LaSalle, 16 points) of the year.