CHESTNUT HILL - Boston College and Penn State made a combined 37-of-101 field goals to shoot 36.6 percent as the Nittany Lions hung on for a 62-54 win over the Eagles, snapping BC's five-game winning streak in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday night.
"I thought it was a very hard fought game," said Boston College head coach Steve Donahue. "[It was] two teams trying to find their identity, particularly in offense. I thought our guys competed really hard but that last quarter just really struggled getting a good look, and give Penn State credit. I thought they got key loose balls. Our offense right now isn't real efficient or very big. I think that was something that could explain it."
Boston College (2-5) was led by junior Matt Humphrey, who scored a team-high 15 points but made only 4-of-11 field goals in the loss. Humphrey and the Eagles finished the game 16-of-44 from the floor (36.4 percent).
"I think it's just a collective group of guys as a team just missing guys that are wide open," Humphrey said about BC's poor shooting performance. "We got our heads down and just not making that extra play and we need to get better at that."
The Eagles opened the game with a 12-4 run in the first four minutes, but the Nittany Lions (6-2) scored 10 unanswered points to take a 14-12 lead with 12:13 to play in the opening half. The Eagles maintained the lead throughout most of the final12 minutes, even leading by five - 28-23 - after a Humphrey free throw with 1:16 left. Jermaine Marshall (22 points) made a three with 59 ticks left before Gabe Moton (10 points) made his only three-pointer of the game, giving the Eagles a 29-26 lead heading into halftime.
BC kept up the momentum through the first seven minutes of the second half, leading b six - 40-34 - with 13:28 left in the game, but the Nittany Lions closed the gap with an 8-2 run to tie the game at 42 with 10:22 to go. A three from Tim Frazier (22 points) with 7:01 left gave Penn State its first lead (51-48) since the 16:02 mark of the second half. The Lions closed out the game with a 9-6 run to ice the Eagles and claim their sixth win of the young season.
"The kids' confidence is shot sometimes," Donahue said. "They've never really had failures on the basketball court or struggle. I thought we did a terrific job in the first half, i thought [Lonnie] Jackson (eight points) came out and did some nice things in the second half. I thought Moton had a good floor game.
"We have some guys that are in a lull right now and aren't really sure where theyre are or what they're doing we've got to pick those up. There's no reason for this season to get too low. This is all about building. We have one class in and we're going to try and get these guys ACC ready and we're going to build on that class each and every year."
Boston College hosts Boston University in its next game at 2:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday.