|Boston College's Ty Bowman looks to make a play. @BCMBB.|
The Boston College Eagles, who entered the ACC Tournament as the 12th seed, upset the 5th seed North Carolina State Wolfpack, 91-87, on Wednesday afternoon.
Boston College got incredible performances from Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman.
Robinson led BC with 26 points on 9-20 from the field, including a three-pointer, with five assists, two steals, and two rebounds. Bowman had 24 points on 8-19 from the field, including 2-5 from behind the arc, with six rebounds and four assists.
Nik Popovic had 15 points (6-11 FG), seven rebounds, and two assists, while Steffon Mitchell snagged 15 rebounds, including six on the offensive end, with four points and three assists.
Jordan Chatman had 12 points on 4-8 shooting, with all his completed baskets coming from behind the arc. He now ranks second among ACC players with 84 three-pointers, second only to Notre Dame's Matt Farrell, who leads the ACC with 89 heading into their their game tonight against Virginia Tech.
NC State was led by Allerik Freeman, who had 21 points on 8-14 from the field, including 5-7 from behind the arc, with three rebounds and three assists, but also a costly six turnovers. Omer Yurtseven had 20 points (8-16 FG) and nine rebounds, just missing a double-double, along with three blocks and two assists.
Boston College led this one 45-31 at halftime and by as many as 17 early in the second half, 48-31 and 51-34 both as a result of Chatman three-pointers.
NC State responded with an 11-4 run to cut it to 10, at 55-45, on a Freeman three-pointer at the 15:52 mark. BC built their lead back up to 16, 69-53, on a pair of free throws from Robinson at 9:29 of the second half.
NC State would keep chipping away, and they eventually went on a stunning 11-0 run capped by a Yurtseven jumper to tie it at 75 with 4:17 left.
The teams traded baskets until Robinson gave BC an 87-85 lead with 17 seconds left, and followed that up with a block on an inbounds pass with 11.8 seconds left.
Bowman went to the line and drained two free throws to make it 89-85.
Markell Johnson, who had 10 points, six assists, and five rebounds in the game, responded with a layup with seven seconds left to bring it back to two, at 89-87.
Johnson then brought back memories of Chris Webber in the 1992 Final Four, when he called a timeout that NC State didn't have. The result was a technical foul on Robinson and BC got two free throws and the ball.
Robinson drained the pair of free throws to seal the 91-87 win for the Eagles.
Boston College earned a matchup with the fourth seed Clemson Tigers on Thursday afternoon at 2.p,m in the ACC quarterfinals. Clemson beat BC on the road, 74-70, on January 3.
The Eagles are now 10-12 all-time in the ACC Tournament and 2-2 in second round games. This is the first time they have reached the quarterfinals since 2013.
Boston College Head Coach Jim Christian said of the win, "Just a tremendous game. 40-minute game, tremendous. I thought that both teams played unbelievably hard, and I just thought the resilience, the toughness, the mental toughness that we showed down the stretch when they came back, huge step forward for our team, for our program. Couldn't be more happy for these guys for these things that they've gone through. To have moments like this makes it all worthwhile.
"Couldn't be prouder of a team. That was just a gutsy effort."
Robinson, who hails from Raleigh,NC, said of what the win means to him, "Yeah, I think it's big for me. I think it's big for this team, as well. We lost to them early in the year at NC State, and just to get them back in the tournament definitely feels good."
NC State tied it five times late in the game, but could never take the lead. Christian said of their ability to stay tied or ahead, "I mean, it's ridiculous. I knew they would come back. They're a good basketball team. You talk about one of the top teams in the country, a team that's going to go to the NCAA Tournament and win games, so again, when they made a run at us, we've been in that situation now the last couple weeks three times, and this is growth. This was growth. This was growth attacking pressure. This was growth making free throws. This was growth with poise on defense, and they still made some great plays. They made some big time shots but then we responded, and that's what happens in great games.
Bowman said of holding on at the end, "Just that we knew we were going to have to handle the pressure and we knew they were going to pick up the pressure in the second half. So that was big for us. But also the steal Jerome had (with 11.8 seconds left) was the biggest play of the night, just for us getting there and knowing that we had to have a smart play, and that was a smart play.
Robinson said of what turned out to be the play of the game, "Yeah, the steal I knew they were going to try to get it to 11, and I tried to take it away, and then at the last second I jumped, I knew I only had a second or two left, and I ended up getting a deflection off of it, and I ended up tipping it over to Ky, so that was definitely a big play for us towards the end."
NC State dropped to 21-11 on the season, including 11-7 in the ACC in the regular season.
NC State Head Coach Kevin Keatts said of the game, "Guys, I want to congratulate Boston College. I thought they did a tremendous job, especially in the first half. When you look at those guards, I thought they played extremely well tonight. Not only did they score for themselves, but they did a great job of getting everybody involved.
"I thought we had -- I thought we were a little slow getting started. Obviously we got in a big deficit early, and we had to battle back at halftime. We talked about obviously staying the course, and I felt like if our guys stayed the course, and obviously we made some shots, we would get back in the game because I thought our press could get us back in the game. And certainly we did and put ourselves in a situation to be able to win the game at the end.
"Very unfortunate, I think those guys in the locker room battled extremely hard, obviously, for the win, and came up a little bit short.
With this unexpected loss, NC State is now on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. Keatts said of how they'll approach Selection Sunday, "Well, we'll get together as a team. We haven't decided, obviously, where we're going to watch it, but I'm excited about our team. Our body of work is pretty good when you think about what we've done in a short amount of time and look at winning -- beating five top-25 teams and winning on the road and a couple wins against the No. 2 team in the country."
Keatts said of how much a win in the ACC Tournament matters compared to other conferences in terms of making the tournament, "Yeah, I think the approach is the same. You know, you don't -- obviously you go into every game expecting to win the game. We obviously went into this game with the expectation that we were going to win and we were going to advance. It's a little different because you're right, when you went to -- last year when I was at UNCW, we had won 28 games, and I knew if I didn't win that championship game, there was a good chance that I might not make any postseason play. So it's a little bit different. But I think as far as your preparation and you're mentally prepared for it, with our team, we're prepared to win every game."