Jay Heath scored 17 points — including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:41 left — as host Boston College held off Eastern Washington 72-68 on Wednesday night.
Boston College (4-1) managed to avoid what would’ve been its second straight upset loss. In its previous game, BC was knocked off 100-85 by Belmont of the Ohio Valley Conference.
This time, it was Eastern Washington (2-2), the preseason favorite in the Big Sky Conference, that put up quite a fight.
The fight was exemplified by Jacob Davison, a 6-4 junior shooting guard who led Eastern Washington with 26 points. It wasn’t Davison’s first big game — he also had a 41-point effort against Northern Arizona last season.
Davison made 5 of13 shots from beyond the arc against BC, including one with 10 seconds left that cut Eastern Washington’s deficit to 72-68.
BC’s Nik Popovic, a 6-11 senior center, posted 13 points and 12 rebounds and had two free throws with eight seconds left to help seal the game. He became the 45th player in BC history to reach 1,000 career points.
Eastern Washington’s Kim Aiken Jr., a 6-7 sophomore forward, was also impressive with his third straight double-double. He finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Derryck Thornton, BC’s senior point guard, had 14 points and five assists despite playing with a sore right ankle.
This was the first meeting between the programs, and, early on, it was one-sided as BC raced to a 12-0 start, thanks in part to a pair of Heath three-pointers.
But Eastern Washington, down 21-9, put together a 10-0 run — with all 10 points by Davison, including a dunk at the end.
With that spurt, Eastern Washington went on to tie the score 28-28 but never managed to get the lead in the half.
Indeed, Boston College — despite a scoring drought that lasted 6:26 — went into the break with a slim 33-31 lead.
The difference in the first half is that Eastern Washington got no free throws while Boston College shot 7 of 9.
Eastern Washington finally took its first lead of the game on a Davison 3-pointer with 12:47 left in the first half, but BC held on for the win.
—Field Level Media