Basketball

BC basketball notebook: Men and women both grab first ACC wins

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With over 30 of his friends and family in attendance, Atlanta native Devin McGlockton knew he couldn’t disappoint.

Boston College took down Georgia Tech 95-87 Saturday, and the 6-foot-7 McGlockton put on a show. He put up 30 points leading the Eagles to their first ACC win of the season. Entering Saturday he had just five 3-pointers on the season, but he went a career-high 3-of-4 from range against the Yellow Jackets.

“Apparently everything,” McGlockton said when asked what went right for him postgame. “I had my family here, I’m back hometown, so everything was going well for me.”

But, some drama ensued postgame for McGlockton. In the dying seconds of the game, Georgia Tech was pressing Quinten Post after the Yellow Jackets’ made free throw. So, Post chucked it all the way down the court to McGlockton, who converted the rather easy layup with six seconds left on the clock to get him to 30 points total on the night.

That started tension between the two sides in the postgame handshake line due to McGlockton grabbing a bucket in what many would consider “garbage time.” The broadcast cut out right as it appeared something was about to happen, and Beacon Street Ball (who travels to literally every game) did not get a great look at it despite being close to it — however, what’s vividly shown on the broadcast is Yellow Jackets head coach Damon Stoudamire in both Earl Grant’s face and having some words for McGlockton.

Neither McGlockton nor Earl Grant were asked specifically about what was said in the handshake line postgame with there clearly being some rather angerful words exchanged. But as for the last play in general, both defended the layup that some — debatably many — would consider rather unsportsmanlike.

“We didn’t want to shoot that ball. They were pressing us. It was hard to get it in,” Grant said. “We ended up throwing it long. (McGlockton) caught it right under the rim and he shot it in. I think those guys weren’t happy with that.”

“They were still pressing. I mean, I got the ball in position,” McGlockton said. “They’re still playing defense, I got that last bucket. I mean, that’s it. That’s what happened.”

Battling back

BC was down 51-38 after the first half thanks to an ugly 20 minutes defensively — which was capped off by the Yellow Jackets’ 11-0 run that ended the half. Shots were falling for the Eagles, but they couldn’t figure it out on the defensive end.

“We were really out of character,” Grant said. “I don’t know if it’s we hadn’t played a lot of games recently. I don’t know what it was, but seemed like we just couldn’t execute our game plan. And they made nine threes and made us pay.”

Coming out of the gate, the Eagles then responded to the halftime deficit with a 9-0 run that cut Georgia Tech’s lead to just two. BC then took the lead for the first time since the first half with nine minutes to go in the contest. And with BC down 79-76 and just under four minutes of play left, it was a pair of triples from Claudell Harris Jr. and McGlockton that began an 11-0 run, and the Eagles ran away with it from there.

“We wanted to go out and do better, be more to our details, how we wanted to execute our game plan,” Grant said. “So we just tightened up some screws on everything. And then the guys showed great character. Our ball movement wasn’t as good as it needed to be in the first half. We took a few questionable shots. We could get better shots. And the second half, we just really did a great job of valuing the possession and moving the ball and playing team basketball.”

“Must-win”?

With BC dropping their first two ACC games to Wake Forest, many considered Saturday a must-win for Boston College especially given the difficult slate coming up (aside from the pair of Notre Dame games obviously) that features No. 16 Clemson and No. 8 North Carolina.

However, Grant views things differently.

“In my heart, and in my mind, I never really had must must-win in my mind. I had it in my mind that we needed to go play and play well, and try to figure it out to execute our plan,” he said.

“I felt like if we executed our plan at a high level, we could probably win,” Grant added. “But I think it was an important one. I think it was an important one because we’re on the road for a while. So it was an important one because it’s a road win. It’s an important win because it’s a conference game. You want to stay in the race as much as you can.”

Ladies beat the men to an ACC win

While many were ecstatic over BC’s win over Georgia Tech Saturday, it was the women who grabbed their first ACC win this week before the men did. They took down Miami 70-64 on Thursday, moving the Eagles to 1-1 in conference play.

“It was exciting,” BC head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee said of the win. “It was a really good team win. These ladies played so, so hard and played together and through some adversity of maybe missing some shots they wanted to make and having some turnovers that were a little bit uncharacteristic of us, they still stuck together and played a great team basketball game.”

After a tough 80-75 loss at Duke that opened the ACC slate for the ladies, they rebounded with Thursday’s win. Four of the five BC starters had over 12 points, as Andrea Daley lead the way with 17. And the one starter who had less than 12 points, Kaylah Ivey, totaled an impressive eight assists for BC with as many points.

The Eagles did turn the ball over 20 times and the bench contributed just four points total. But back to the positive side of things, they shot a very strong 40% (8-of-20) from beyond the arch — take away the bench’s three misses as well and that’s 8-for-17/47%.

“I think this game is something now we can build on because now I thought we stuck to our standards for the majority of the game defensively,” Bernabei-McNamee said.

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