December 30, 2017 / 9:30 PM / in a year

Jerome, No. 9 Virginia hang on to beat Boston College

Jerome, No. 9 Virginia hang on to beat Boston College

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — With a fired-up crowd at John Paul Jones Arena already irate over some officiating calls, the final play of Saturday’s game between Virginia and Boston College was the topper.

A clock malfunction gave upset-minded Boston College two possessions under its own basket in the game’s final 3.1 seconds to try to pull off another improbable win. But the Cavaliers’ defense did what it does best and prevented a score.

Ty Jerome dropped in a career-high 31 points to lead No. 9 Virginia past Boston College 59-58.

“What a special individual offensive game by Ty,” Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said after earning his 200th victory at the school.

Jerome made 11 of his 17 field goal attempts, which included 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc and 3 of 3 from the free throw line.

Virginia (12-1, 1-0 ACC) stopped Boston College (10-4, 1-1) twice in the game’s final 3.1 seconds. It culminated with center Jack Salt drawing an offensive foul to give the Cavaliers the ball and the victory.

“The explanation that was given to me was an incidental start of the clock,” Bennett said of the game’s final seconds. “That was tough but the guys did a good job of defending two out of bounds plays.”

Guard Jerome Robinson scored 29 points to lead Boston College as the Eagles’ bid to upset a second top-10 ACC team came up just short after beating then-No. 1 Duke in their ACC opener.

“Give Virginia full credit, they’re such a good defensive team,” Boston College head coach Jim Christian said. “In those situations, they’re so well schooled and so well taught that it’s hard to get a clean look.”

With the Cavaliers leading 51-45 with less than six minutes to play, Boston College got back-to-back 3-pointers from Robinson and Jordan Chatman to tie the game at 51. Chatman scored 18 points to complement Robinson’s sixth 20-point game this season.

“I’m proud of our kids,” Christian said. “I would love to have seen us execute down the stretch but I’m proud of them.”

Jerome connected on two of his six 3-pointers during crunch time as he broke the 51-all tie before giving Virginia a 57-53 advantage with 3:21 to play.

“He’s played well the last few games,” Bennett said of his sophomore. “I hope he’s getting healthier but he just works. He sensed what we needed and hit some big shots.”

Only five players scored for Boston College, which was held to 42 percent shooting after coming in to the day averaging close to 46 percent on the season. The Eagles continued their trend of outrebounding their opponent as they pulled down 34 rebounds compared to 33 for Virginia.

Virginia couldn’t push its lead above eight as the Cavaliers shot 35.7 percent for the game. Sophomore Kyle Guy joined Jerome in double figures with 11 points. Senior Isaiah Wilkins scored eight points while pulling down 14 rebounds and blocking four shots.

Each team started off hot from the field as Boston College gained an early advantage before

Virginia led by as many as eight in the first half.

The Cavaliers shot 43.3 percent for the half and were led by Jerome, who scored 12 points.

Virginia took a 30-25 lead into the halftime break.

After committing eight first-half turnovers, Virginia turned the ball over just once in the second half to keep their season average at nine, which is third-best in the country.

The Cavaliers will continue ACC play Wednesday night when they travel to take on in-state rival Virginia Tech. Boston College will host Clemson, also on Wednesday.

NOTES: Boston College G Ky Bowman is the only player in the country to average at least 16.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. Bowman scored just five points and was 2 of 10 from the field. ... Cavaliers G Ty Jerome scored in double figures for the third straight game after failing to do so in his previous five. G Devon Hall was held to just one point after entering the game averaging 12.4 points per game... The loss halted Boston College’s five-game winning streak.

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