Jackson’s free throws help Providence beat BC in OT
BOSTON (AP) — Providence coach Ed Cooley’s team needed a clutch 3-pointer at the end of regulation.
In overtime, it was a lot easier: All his players had to do was hit some late foul shots.
Isaiah Jackson hit five free throws in the closing 33.9 seconds of OT and finished with 19 points, lifting Providence to a 100-95 victory over Boston College on Tuesday night.
“It came down to a couple of plays and we were fortunate to make the good plays,” Cooley said. “We were very fortunate to win.”
A.J. Reeves led the Friars (7-2) with 24 points, including the 3 in the closing seconds of regulation, and Alpha Diallo had 15. Nate Watson added 14 points and 10 rebounds. It was Providence’s fourth straight victory.
BC coach Jim Christian said he chose to switch with a small lineup at the end of regulation, hoping to make it tougher on the Friars’ shooters attempting a 3. He said he didn’t want to foul because there was too much time left and PC had been tough on the offensive glass.
“Those things are always hindsight; if he misses it, it’s a great call,” he said. “If he makes it, it’s a bad call. I’ll live with either one, but with 11.8 seconds to go we usually go small and switch out. If it was seven (seconds), we’d probably foul.”
It was the 113th meeting between the schools, with the first coming in 1946.
In a final two minutes of overtime filled with whistles and trips to the line, Watson hit two free throws, giving Providence a 95-93 edge with 1:12 to play.
Jackson hit two more, making it 97-94 with 33.9 seconds left.
After Bowman hit a free throw, slicing it to 97-95, BC was forced to foul Jackson twice. He hit three of four to seal it.
Boston College had opened an 84-81 lead on Hamilton’s dunk, but Maliek White had a conventional 3-point play with 48 seconds left in regulation.
Bowman then hit one of two from the line, giving BC an 85-84 edge with 35.1 seconds left.
Reeves nailed his 3 from the top of the key, tying it at 87 with 2.6 seconds left.
“I’m taking full credit for that shot. We designed it,” Cooley joked. “I got it out of my (James) Naismith book.”
BC rushed the ball up and Bowman missed a 3 from the left wing, sending it to OT.
The Eagles led 43-39 at halftime.
Providence: Cooley, a former BC assistant for many years, won his first game as an opposing coach at Conte Forum. He was 0-3 with PC. Watson, a 6-foot-10 sophomore, gave BC trouble inside and should help in the Big East.
Boston College: The Eagles’ freshmen seemed to be gaining confidence each game. Tabbs has already been a pleasant surprise for them by scoring, but forward and highly-touted recruit Hamilton and guard Herren both are playing meaningful minutes and offering more scoring and support for Bowman.
SHORT UP FRONT
BC forward Nik Popovic was sidelined and in the concussion protocol after a hit he took in practice Sunday.
The 6-foot-11 junior had been playing some of his best minutes of his career with the Eagles when he scored in double figures the last three games, including going 9 for 9 from the floor when he had 18 points in a win over Minnesota on November 26.
YOUNG AT HEART
Providence started three freshmen — as it has for most of the season.
“It was amazing to come back to Boston,” said Reeves, who went to high school locally. “I had a lot of family and friends in my stands.”
BC debuted alternative home white uniforms with script “Eagles” on the front of the jerseys for the first time since the 1961-62 season.
Providence: Hosts Massachusetts on Friday night.
Boston College: Plays at Texas A&M on Saturday night.