Dec. 20, 2008
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Senior Tyrese Rice scored a game-high 20 points and sophomore Josh Southern sank five free throws in the final 30 seconds to help Boston College secure an 81-76 non-league win over Providence before 6,880 fans in Conte Forum.
The host Eagles, which had lost its last two meetings against the Friars, led from start to finish. Rice opened the scoring with a three-point field goal 30 seconds into the contest.
BC led by as many as 14 points - 66-52 with 4:16 to play - before Providence made a late charge. Choosing to foul and seeing BC hit just 4-of-10 free-throw attempts, PC narrowed the margin to 76-74 with 31.1 seconds to play.
After Southern sank 1-of-2 free-throw attempts to give BC a three-point edge with 30.2 seconds left, Providence drove the length of the court with a chance to even the score, but missed a lay-in and a putback attempt. At that point, Southern took control. The sophomore from Saginaw, Mich., grabbed the defensive rebound and proceeded to sink two free throws at the other end to extend the BC margin to 79-74.
Providence's next trip downcourt was thwarted by Southern's block of a Sharaud Curry shot. Southern hauled down the subsequent rebound. Again, he was fouled and again he coolly hit two free throws (with 5.6 seconds left).
PC's Jeff Xavier scored at the final buzzer to account for the final score.
BC led by as many as 11 points in the first half and settled for a 35-26 halftime advantage. Rice and sophomore Joe Trapani each recorded 10 points in the first 20 minutes of play.
The Eagles maintained that nine-point lead until Providence ran off seven straight points to close within two points - 42-40 - with 13:15 to play. After BC missed a three-point attempt at the other end, PC's chance to claim its first lead was lost on a missed three-pointer.
Trapani answered with a three-pointer (with 12:05 left) that sparked a 7-0 BC rally, leaving the home team with a 49-40 cushion.
BC extended that margin to 14 points, setting the stage for the foul-plagued, free-throw shooting final minutes.
Game Notes: This win was truly a team victory. While Rice led the way with the 36th 20-point game of his collegiate career, the Eagles also received strong contributions from several other players. Trapani finished with 18 points. Sophomore Corey Raji tallied 10 points and seven rebounds, while Southern contributed nine points (including his clutch free throws). Sophomore Cortney Dunn totaled five points and four rebounds and junior Tyler Roche posted six points ... BC shot 43.1 percent from the field, including 56.5 percent (13-for-23) in the second half. PC shot 36.6 percent from the floor ... BC hit seven treys, while PC sank just three long-range jumpers ... BC was outrebounded (47-37) for just the third time this season. BC is 2-1 in those games.