No. 10 Louisville beats Boston College 81-72
BOSTON (AP) Rick Pitino was back in Boston, and this time he was fortunate to have Chris Jones and Terry Rozier with him.
Jones scored 28 points and Rozier had 23 to lead Louisville to an 81-72 victory over Boston College on Wednesday night, giving Pitino a victory in his first game back in Boston since he stepped down from running the Celtics.
”I’ve got great memories here,” said Pitino, who has been back for a wedding and to give a speech and to coach nearby in Providence, but never in Boston. ”Wish things would have turned out better for me at the end.”
Pitino coached the Celtics for three-plus years, compiling a 102-146 record before resigning in the middle of the 2000-01 season. He was booed by fans at his introduction on Wednesday, but he spoke fondly of his time here.
Pitino said he showed his assistant coaches where he used to live as they rode in on the bus. He also had good things to say not only about BC coach Jim Christian but about current Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
”He has a lot of patience, and I had very little,” Pitino said. ”He’s going to do a fabulous job, because it’s not going to get to him, the losing.”
Louisville (17-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) led by as many as 10 points before BC cut it to one, 62-61, with just over 5 minutes left. Jones hit a pair of 3-pointers from the left side, scoring 10 of the Cardinals’ next 12 points as they pulled away.
”You have to make those in those situations. You probably don’t get another chance,” he said. ”I knocked down the two biggest shots of the game.”
Aaron Brown scored a career-high 28 for BC (9-10, 1-6). The Eagles were coming off their first ACC win of the season, against Georgia Tech on Sunday.
Rozier made a 3-pointer to put Louisville up 59-49 with 8:04 to play, the first double-digit lead of the game. But BC scored the next eight – five by Patrick Heckmann and a 3-pointer from Olivier Hanlan, who finished with 11 points and nine assists.
After trading 3-pointers, Olivier Hanlan drove to the basket with a chance to tie it; he was fouled and made the second of two free throws with 5:13 left.
Jones then made a 3-pointer from the left corner, and another from the left wing.
PAIR OF GUARDS
Among the things that amazed Christian about Jones and Rozier was the amount of time they spent on the floor together, playing 38 and 37 minutes, respectively.
”I have never seen two guards play the amount of minutes they play, with the intensity they play for the entire game,” Christian said. ”It’s really special to watch.”
Louisville: The Cardinals had lost two of their previous four games but both were to ranked teams, North Carolina and Duke. … Rozier is averaging 21 points over his last 13 games. … The Cardinals were 6 for 12 from 3-point range.
Boston College: Hanlan, who had 25 points against Georgia Tech, was 2-for-8 shooting in the game…. BC had 11 assists and two turnovers in the first half and finished with 17 and seven. … The Eagles fired up 16 3-point attempts in the first and went 9 for 29 for the game.
Louisville: At home vs. No. 13 North Carolina on Saturday.
Boston College: At Clemson on Saturday.