BOSTON (AP)—A shot-blocker by trade, Sean Williams can also do a little damage on offense.
The Boston College center had 10 points and 11 rebounds to go with his seven blocked shots on Sunday, and Jared Dudley had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Eagles to a 73-62 victory over No. 23 Maryland in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.
“Sean played well. Numbers don’t lie,” Dudley said. “What he can do, nobody else in the country can do.”
Williams is considered one of the nation’s best at blocking shots, averaging six per game. But BC (6-2, 1-0) got a big boost from his offensive smarts as he scored the Eagles’ only four points during a 4:44 minute span when Maryland (9-2, 0-1) cut a 10-point deficit to 58-55.
The last two points came on two free throws with 6:45 left when he was fouled with his back to the basket and the shot clock running out.
“He absorbed the contact, got up in the air and delivered the ball. At that point in the game that was a big-time play,” BC coach Al Skinner said. “That was a big-time move down the stretch when we needed two points. I don’t know if it gets better than that.”
Williams said he didn’t remember the play, but he had a better memory of a series where he blocked two shots in five seconds, grabbing the rebound on the second one to keep Maryland from getting within six.
“They were attacking the basket pretty hard,” he said.
And he was in their way.
“Some people say he may be the best shot-blocker in the country. He’s got great timing,” Maryland coach Gary Williams said. “You’ve got to get him in foul trouble. You’ve got to go right after him.”
Dudley moved into the top 10 on BC’s all-time list with 1,654 points, passing Michael Adams. Adams was part of the Eagles team that went to the regional finals in 1982 and was coached by Gary Williams; Adams is now one of his assistants.
Williams, who led BC to a 76-45 record and two NCAA berths, hadn’t been to Chestnut Hill since he left in 1986. Since then, the school has left the Roberts Center for Conte Forum and the Big East for the ACC.
“They built a nice place here. I was looking for the Roberts Center,” Williams said. “Doug Flutie was going to be our third or fourth guard. He would have been a pretty good player, but Donald Trump signed him to a personal services contract.”
Tyrese Rice scored 17 points—12 in the first half. Maryland never led after the opening minutes, though it did tie the score twice in the first half after falling behind 19-10.
James Gist had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Terrapins, who have lost two of three since winning their first eight games this season. Maryland had been off to its best start since going 10-0 to begin the 1998-99 season, a year they went to the NCAA regional semifinals.
Bambale Osby had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Terps. D.J. Strawberry, Maryland’s leading scorer at 15.2 points per game, picked up two fouls in the first 44 seconds and scored just two points in eight minutes in the first half. He finished with five points.
BC led 58-50 before Osby scored on a putback, but missed the foul shot that would have given him a three-point play. Mike Jones made a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 58-55 with 6:25 to play.
It was 63-59 when BC scored the next six points, starting with a blocked shot by Williams and a fast-break jam by Sean Marshall. After Dudley missed three free throws, Williams hit a turnaround from the left side and Dudley hit a short jumper in the lane to make it 69-59 with 1:22 left.