Lin leads Harvard to 82-70 upset over No. 17 BC
BOSTON (AP)—Boston College coach Al Skinner had been warning his players all along. It showed they didn’t listen.
Jeremy Lin scored 27 points to lead Harvard to an 82-70 upset over No. 17 Boston College on Wednesday night, three days after the Eagles upset previously top-ranked North Carolina.
“I tried to pre-warn them,” said Skinner after one of the Eagles’ more disappointing regular season losses in many years. “We were capable of being this team and capable of being another team.”
The Eagles (13-3), who had their 10-game winning streak snapped, defeated the unbeaten Tar Heels 85-78 in Chapel Hill for one of the school’s biggest regular season wins to move into the Top 25.
“I told them its a short trip from the main house to the big house to the out house,” Skinner said.
Corey Raji paced BC with 16 points, Tyrese Rice had 14, Joe Trapani had 12. Rice was held to three points until the final four minutes.
Oliver McNally had 17 points and Andrew Pusar 13 for the Crimson (8-6), who had never beaten a ranked team before and had lost 15 of their last 16 games against the Eagles. Lin added eight assists before fouling out with about a minutes left.
“Obviously it’s a special night for us and for our basketball program,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. “To be able to come across town and play against an outstanding basketball team, especially after what they experienced in their previous game.”
Harvard opened a 57-45 edge with 9:04 to play when Peter Boehm nailed a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired and made it 62-48 just under two minutes later when McNally hit a 3 in front of his own bench. McNally was jumping up and down excitedly afterward.
Harvard led 66-50 after Doug Miller’s layup with 5:06 to play before the Eagles tried to use fullcourt pressure to get back into the game.
But it was Lin’s poise that helped Harvard maintain control down the stretch.
“We were glad we had this opportunity to play them after they took out UNC,” Lin said.
Lin continually isolated against a number of BC defenders that tried to stop him, driving the lane and setting up teammates.
“He got in a rhythm,” Skinner said.
A dejected Skinner didn’t have a feeling how his team would play when it resumes Atlantic Coast Conference play against Miami on Saturday.
“I don’t know,” he said. “What do you expect?”
Despite a quick 6-0 spurt that closed the gap to 66-56, BC couldn’t climb back.
The Crimson led by six at the half and made it 35-27 on Lin’s steal and breakaway layup on the first possession of the second half.
Lin’s 3-pointer from the left corner gave Harvard its first double digit lead of the game, 42-31 with 16:55 to play.
There was a quick indication that BC may have not been into it mentally against the Crimson. On its first possession after a Harvard miss, Raji’s outlet pass grazed the back of center Josh Southern’s head as he ran down the middle of the floor, and Trapani ended the possession by hitting the side of the backboard with a baseline jumper.
Later in the half, six Eagles players were on the floor after a time-out and Tyler Roche ran off—with a few working the scorer’s table yelling to get his attention—just before they inbounded the ball.
Just like the past few days where BC’s basketball team’s win over the Tar Heels was overshadowed by the saga involving the school’s football program, there was a large media contingent on hand before the game, but most of them left after the school’s press conference announcing that football coach Jeff Jagodzinski was fired.
In the first half, BC led 17-11 before Harvard scored 10 straight points over a 1:47 stretch en route to a 33-27 halftime edge.