Murphy's Dagger In Final Moments Sinks Boston College As Pittsburgh Wins 74-72
Boston College continues to find ways to lose, as they dropped a heartbreaker against Pittsburgh 74-72 last night. The Eagles who led the entire first half watched a thirteen point lead fizzle away at the end of the half, and Pittsburgh jumped ahead in the second. The two teams battled in the second exchanging leads, with BC making a furious comeback to tie it. But with four seconds remaining transfer guard Ryan Murphy hit a jumper to bury the Eagles and give Pitt their fourth conference win.
The game started off with an incredible positive energy for Jim Christian's team. Center Nik Popovic returned to the lineup for the first time since a December back injury sidelined him. His presence on the court was immediately felt as the offense sprang back to life, with Pop running the pick and roll effectively, and the three point shots falling for Boston College.
But the mood turned quickly as the first half came to a close as the Eagles struggled defensively and on the boards. And the offense sputtered as they resorted to poor shot selection, the recipe that had doomed the team the previous three games. On top of that Steffon Mitchell rolled his ankle (he did return), and Derryck Thornton looked to be running on one leg for most of the game. Pittsburgh began to find their shot and by the opening moments of the second half, the double digit deficit was gone and the Panthers jumped out to a lead.
Pitts lead continued to expand as they got up as high as ten with four minutes to to go. "We got down 10 because we came a little bit out of character and guys tried to take the game over by themselves and took ridiculous shots," said Boston College head coach Jim Christian. Justin Champaignie served as the catalyst for the Pittsburgh resurgence, out working CJ Felder under the hoop for 17 points and 10 rebounds. It looked over for the Eagles as they were out muscled and hustled for most of the half.
But the Eagles responded with five points in the final three minutes from guard Jay Heath,a big three from Mitchell. Incredibly the Eagles tied it up on a pair of layups from Thornton, the second coming with twelve seconds remaining in the game. But the Eagles were unable to close it, Pitt head coach Jeff Capel did not call a timeout and they pushed it up the court and got the ball to Murphy who hit the game winning jumper with four seconds to go.
Last night's loss wasn't a blow out, but it was still yet another painful loss for the Eagles. This type of game probably hurts more because BC had the game, but couldn't continue their momentum they built in the first half. Jim Christian needs to start finding wins quickly, because this season is quickly falling apart.