MEN’S BASKETBALL: Canes fall behind, can’t catch Eagles

After starting their ACC schedule off with a win at home, the Hurricanes failed to repeat the effort on the road.

The men’s basketball team fell to the Boston College Eagles 76-66 on Tuesday night. The loss was their first ACC away game after beating Georgia Tech 78-68 at home on Saturday. The Eagles (12-4, 3-0 ACC) have now won their last 13 meetings against the Hurricanes (14-2, 1-1 ACC).

Boston College was led in scoring by guard Rakim Sanders, who finished with 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting. The Eagles’ leading scorer, guard Tyrese Rice, contributed 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Junior guard Jack McClinton paced the Hurricanes with 20 points, despite shooting a dismal 6-for-26 from the field.

The game was ugly for Miami from the very start, as the Canes went scoreless for the opening three minutes. McClinton hit a long jumper with 17:19 remaining in the first half to open up the scoring for Miami, stopping BC’s 8-0 streak. The Eagles then went on a 6-0 run, extending their lead to 14-2. Following a Miami timeout, BC continued their excellent play. But Miami got no closer than within 10 points, ending the half with a 36-22 deficit.

“We obviously got off to a slow start,” Head Coach Frank Haith said. “They just really took it to us. [Rakim] Sanders was outstanding. I thought their big guys, especially [Tyrelle] Blair, really affected our big guys. We had a tough time with it.”

The second half started off the same way the first half ended, with BC going on a 7-0 run. Miami fought to make a comeback late in the game, with McClinton scoring 10 straight Hurricane points to cut the lead to 60-50 with six minutes left. The Canes then tried fouling down the stretch to extend the game, but the Eagles made free throws when it counted.

“At the beginning of the game we came in with kind of a nonchalant attitude and when you are nonchalant, you don’t execute as well,” McClinton said. “When we came out in the second half, we knew our backs were against the wall so we had no choice: go out and play hard.”

Miami had trouble on both ends of the court, as they couldn’t score or make any defensive stops. Boston College harassed the Canes every time they tried to attack the basket, recording nine blocked shots. Tyrelle Blair, the defensive anchor for BC, finished with five blocks and 12 rebounds.

The loss, which is only Miami’s second this season, was a poor indicator for the team’s overall potential. With the ACC season now underway, the Canes will be tested on a nightly basis to prove that their success is no fluke and that they deserve to remain ranked amongst the top 25 teams in the country. Miami’s next test will come Saturday against N.C. State in Raleigh, North Carolina. N.C. State is 11-5, coming off a 70-54 loss to Clemson.

“College basketball is not like college football,” Haith said. “The season isn’t over after one game. Some people like to think that, but the season isn’t over. We’ve got 14 more ACC games left to play.”

Joel Brown may be contacted at