Our thoughts on BC's win over Dartmouth
After a lackluster first half, BC (12-6) put on a stellar 45-point second half to secure an 86-72 win over Dartmouth (4-10). With all five starters in double-digits plus a career-high 9 points from freshman Vin Baker Jr., the Eagles closed out their non-conference schedule with a solid win and got a nice confidence booster after a brutal loss at North Carolina earlier this week.
With #23 Florida State (13-5) coming to town on Monday night, the Eagles have a quick turnaround before an extremely tough game against the Seminoles. Luckily, BC was able to give their stars some rest in this one as Ky Bowman and Jerome Robinson played only 35 and 31 minutes, respectively.
Check out our postgame notes below!
-First off, MVP of the game is easily Nik Popovic, who finished with 14 points on a perfect 6-6 shooting from the field in 28 minutes of play. After a poor performance against UNC where he finished with just 4 points and 3 rebounds, Pop bounced back by scoring 8 quick points to give the Eagles an early interior presence while also grabbing 3 offensive boards in the first half. Finishing the game with 8 boards and 0 fouls, Pop was playing extremely smart basketball and his only misstep was a travel late in the first half. Obviously, Dartmouth doesn’t have the size and physicality of ACC schools, but it’s still nice to see Pop playing confidently and efficiently. If BC is able to get a good 20+ minutes out of him every night, their chances for success in ACC play will improve dramatically.
-After allowing Dartmouth to shoot 50% from the field for the first half including a staggering 8-13 from 3, BC came out in the second half rebounding extremely well and playing much better defense. BC was switching everything in the first half, but poor communication and some solid shot making by the Big Green allowed Dartmouth to get in an early rhythm. Coming out in the second half, guys like Jordan Chatman and Ky Bowman were doing a much better job communicating on switches, allowing the bigs to get in proper position. As a result, BC was able to go on a 28-9 run to start the second half which ballooned their lead to 22 points, all but putting the game out of reach.
-Starting 0-5 from the field and not scoring until hitting a buzzer-beater 3 to end the first half, Ky Bowman put on a very impressive second half and finished with a game-high 19 points to go along with 6 assists and 0 turnovers. When Ky is playing well, he’s the best player on this BC team. Ky finished the game with two Top-10-worthy plays as he broke a defender’s ankles then buried a triple and also had a nice windmill dunk on a breakaway. The problem with Ky, despite the amazing second half, is that he’s been so inconsistent this season. At times, Ky has played like the best player in the ACC, but unfortunately, he also really hurt the Eagles in games against Virginia and Clemson. With Ky this season, it’s hard to know what you’re going to get-- and his two halves today are the perfect example of that.
-Like Nik Popovic, Jordan Chatman also had a nice bounce back game, finishing with 15 points on 9 shots including a dunk! In his last three contests against Clemson, Wake, and UNC, Chatman had shot a combined 6-22 from the field and just 5-15 from deep. Against Clemson and UNC, Chatman had a very tough time dealing with the athleticism of the defenders and getting a clean shot up. Dartmouth is obviously a different beast than Clemson or UNC, but Chatman shot the ball well and looked confident in this one. Chatman, in a way, is the key for BC to find success on the offensive end. When he’s shooting the ball well, he opens up the floor for guys like Ky, Jerome, and Pop to operate and the Eagles will need at least a decent performance from Chatman against FSU if they want a real chance.
-Vin Baker Jr. also had a nice game for BC as he finished with a career-high 9 points on 4-7 from the field in 19 minutes of play. Taking just 3 threes, he hit 1, it’s nice to see Baker try and get involved on the inside. Seeing as he’s only 4-23 from three this season, defenders have no reason to guard Vin on the arc, so it’s nice that he is able to show some potential around the paint. With his long frame, Vin has more potential than anyone on this BC team and if he can bulk up this summer, he should be a solid bench piece down the line. It’s nice that he is getting extended minutes against these weaker teams, but it’s still unlikely we’ll see him as a legitimate contributor during the rest of ACC play.
-Avery Wilson also got some meaningful minutes, finishing with 2 points in 7 minutes of play. Defensively, Avery picked up a steal immediately and overall it’s clear he has the physical tools to be a solid defender. On the offensive end, he did a nice job of getting to the rim, however his finishing has some ways to go. Unfortunately, bad decisions continue to limit Avery’s effectiveness. On one play, Avery tried to save a ball that was clearly going out on Dartmouth, costing BC the possession. Also, Avery is 0-4 from the free throw line across his last two games and his two attempts today were bad misses. Avery still has potential, but he’s far from a positive contributor at this point.
-Overall, BC got a nice win and played a very good second half. They did exactly what they needed to do and rebounded from a very poor performance against UNC. Hopefully they can carry the positive momentum into Monday's game against #23 FSU.