Herren, Tabbs step up, carry BC past Fairfield 77-67
BOSTON (AP) — Freshman guard Chris Herren Jr. picked the right day to get hot.
Herren said he felt good shooting the ball during the pregame warm-ups.
“I feel like you can kind of tell in shooting lines, but you never know what will happen in games,” said Herren, who went 8 of 13 from the floor, going 4 of 7 on 3-point attempts.
Nik Popovic added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Eagles (8-2).
But it was the surprising scoring by Herren that carried BC to its sixth win in seven games. The 6-foot-3 guard came in averaging just 3.1 points per game.
“In a lot of ways, he’s like Ky when Ky first started here, much better shooter in the game than he is in practice,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “But I told him the other day, if you’re going to be a better shooter it might as well be in the game.”
Bowman, who entered averaging 19.7 per game, had 19 points but on 4 of 17 shooting. He missed 11 of his initial 13 shots from the floor. He had 12 rebounds.
“That’s the credit to their team, Bowman attracts so much attention, they had some other guys step up,” Fairfield coach Sydney Johnson said. “This is a potent offensive team. It was hard to keep down the other weapons they have.”
Herren sparked a 9-0 spurt over a 3:50 stretch by scoring seven points to help the Eagles open their first double-digit lead of the game – 49-36 with just under 15 minutes left in the game.
After the Stags sliced it to 49-43 on Jonathan Kasibabu’s dunk, BC took charge with a 10-4 spurt, moving ahead 59-47 on Tabbs’ 3-pointer from the right wing with 9:01 to play.
Fairfield did cut it to 71-67 on Whipple’s 3 with 1:56 left, but never got any closer.
“We were down four with a wide-open 3 with 1:30 to go,” Johnson said. “I thought our guys battled. To put ourselves in that position, I think we can build on this.”
In the first half, BC broke ahead 9-2 in the initial four minutes, but the Stags climbed back quickly and neither team held more than a two-possession lead the final 15 minutes.
Fairfield: The Stags entered the game being outrebounded by an average of 8.5 a game. It’s a trend they’ll need to fix moving into the season. BC owned a 43-35 edge on the glass.
“We were on the wrong side of that today,” Johnson said. “That’s something we have been tightening up.”
Boston College: With Bowman having a rough game, the Eagles’ freshman guards — Herren and Tabbs — picked up the slack with their best combined effort this season. They’re still searching for consistent additional scoring with Jerome Robinson having left for the NBA draft after his junior season.
BC was missing two starters — guard Jordan Chatman, who missed his second straight with an injured right ankle, and Steffon Mitchell, who was out with an injured right leg. The 6-foot-8 sophomore forward is third in the ACC with 9.2 rebounds per game.
“They’re progressing,” Christian said. “We just have to get healthy.”
The Stags didn’t get to shoot a free throw until there was 2:39 left in the game. They went just 1 for 2 in the game.
In the game’s opening nine minutes, the teams combined for more turnovers and missed shots than points.
Fairfield: At New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon.
Boston College: At DePaul on Saturday afternoon.
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