Eagles seek bounce-back win over No. 22 Virginia

NCAA Basketball

Boston College is 0-2 this season against Top 25 opponents, losing by a combined 10 points.

The Eagles get another chance to pull off an upset when they host No. 22 Virginia in an Atlantic Coast Conference contest on Saturday afternoon in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Boston College (2-8, 0-4 ACC) led by as many as 16 points before falling 83-82 at No. 21 Duke on Wednesday night. In their Nov. 25 season opener against then-No. 3 Villanova, the Eagles were ahead by nine with 13 minutes left before fading and falling, 76-67.

Careless play contributed to the Eagles’ loss in Durham, N.C., with the Blue Devils scoring 25 points off 21 Boston College turnovers.

“When you turn it over 21 times at Cameron (Indoor Stadium), it’s tough to win, especially when I thought we had a pretty good rhythm on offense the whole night,” Boston College coach Jim Christian said. “We’ve just got to get a little stronger with the ball.”

The setback spoiled a career night from CJ Felder, who scored 24 points on 10-for-13 shooting and added four rebounds, four 3-pointers and three blocked shots. Four others scored in double figures for the Eagles, who shot 56.1 percent from the field and 56.3 percent (9 of 16) from 3-point range against Duke.

Boston College has dropped seven of the last eight meetings against Virginia. They split two contests last season, with the Eagles winning 60-53 on their home floor on Jan. 7, 2020.

The Cavaliers (6-2, 2-0 ACC) are coming off a 70-61 victory at home Wednesday night against Wake Forest. Virginia overcame a 39-34 halftime deficit by opening the second half with a 28-10 run that included 11 of Sam Hauser’s team-high 16 points.

All five starters scored in double figures for the Cavaliers, who have a 10-game ACC winning streak dating back to last season.

After the Demon Deacons shot 62.5 percent from the field in the first half, Virginia stepped up the defensive intensity in the second half and limited Wake Forest to 38.1 percent shooting.

“At first we weren’t really pressuring the ball, and then in the second half we really started pressuring the ball,” said guard Reece Beekman, who tallied 12 points and five steals (four in the second half). “We were trying to make them make mistakes and make it tough on them, because when you just sit back and let the team run their offense, they’re going to get the shots that they want.”

The Cavaliers are 5-0 this season when opponents commit nine or more turnovers. They are also 5-0 when opponents make nine or fewer 3-pointers.

Virginia guard Kody Stattmann is out indefinitely with a non-COVID-19 related cardiac issue. The school said the 6-foot-7 junior will be sidelined until his evaluation process is completed. Stattmann has averaged 4.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in three games this season but hasn’t played since Dec. 1.

Cavaliers reserves Casey Morsell and Austin Katstra and assistant coaches Jason Williford, Brad Soderberg and Orlando Vandross missed Wednesday’s game due to contact tracing from the team’s latest bout with COVID-19.

–Field Level Media

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