BC beats SC-Upstate, drops Spartans to 0-7

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BOSTON (AP)—Boston College point guard Tyrese Rice has been held scoreless twice in his career: By No. 3 Duke in the 2006 ACC championship game, and by South Carolina-Upstate on Sunday.

“It’s not Duke,” BC coach Al Skinner said of the winless Spartans after BC made up for Rice’s outage and held on for a sloppy but largely uncontested 67-55 victory over Upstate. “If it was Duke, I think we play a little differently. But if you’re going to be a good basketball team, you’re going to have to show it regardless.”

Corey Raji had 13 points and 12 rebounds, Tyler Roche scored 17 on 5-for-7 3-point shooting and Joe Trapani had 16 to make up for Rice’s lack of scoring. The team’s lone senior, its leader in points and the No. 11 scorer in BC (8-2) history was o-for-4 from the floor and did not make it to the free throw line.

He also had six turnovers to go with seven assists, giving the ball away on the first play of the game and twice more in the next five minutes.

“I don’t know how much that was us and how much that was him,” Upstate coach Eddie Payne said. “But we’ll take it. We’ll take the credit.”

Bobby Davis scored 19 points with 13 rebounds for Upstate (0-7), which led with five minutes left in the first half and trailed by just seven, 55-48, with 5:52 to play. But Roche hit his fifth three pointer to make it double-digits, and the Spartans didn’t get within 10 until the final 70 seconds.

“We played a pretty good basketball game,” Payne said, lamenting his team’s five missed layups and eight missed free throws and the career game by Roche. “Rice didn’t go crazy and kill us.”

Rice doesn’t usually shy away from shooting, even against the top teams. His career-high of 46 points came against third-ranked North Carolina last March, a few weeks after he put up 28 at No. 2 Duke.

But after a few early turnovers, Skinner put him on the bench for the last eight minutes of the first half and a seven-minute stretch in the second.

“It wasn’t about X’s and O’s, it was about effort,” Skinner said. “We are not talented enough to think we can just show up and things are going to work out for us. The guys that started didn’t offer a lot.”

But the bench was impressive.

Roche, who had played just six minutes in about a month, added three rebounds and hit a pair of free throws with 46 seconds left after the Spartans tried to close the gap with fouls.

Skinner said Roche was probably responding to his lack of playing time, and the player agreed.

“I was upset because I thought I could have contributed a lot to this team,” he said. “But I haven’t been as productive as I could. I tried to stay ready.”

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 South Carolina Upstate
Bobby Davis Bobby Davis
9-16,  19 Pts
13 Rebs, 1 Assists
 Boston Coll.
Corey Raji Corey Raji
6-10,  13 Pts
12 Rebs, 4 Assists

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