Robinson, Bowman carry Boston College past NC State, 74-66
BOSTON (AP) Boston College guard Jerome Robinson said the Eagles are enjoying playing with each other so far this season.
They certainly have a good reason after completely wiping away the misery of last season’s winless Atlantic Coast Conference schedule with two early wins.
Robinson scored 24 points, Ky Bowman added 19 and BC beat North Carolina State 74-66 on Wednesday night.
”You can kind of tell when we’re out there,” Robinson said. ”We’re moving the ball and know what each other’s going to do. It’s definitely a good feeling. I really feel like we’re really connected right now.”
Connar Tava added 13 points and A. J. Turner 10 for the Eagles (9-8, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference). A year ago BC went 0-18 during the regular season and lost its only conference tourney game.
”Sometimes you have to grind one out and you’ve got to win at home,” BC coach Jim Christian said. ”That’s what I told our team.”
Dennis Smith Jr. led the Wolfpack (12-5, 1-3) with 15 points. Terry Henderson had 14.
N.C. State has lost three of four.
”We’re going to keep getting better,” N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said. ”The difference tonight was turnovers – 17 turnovers is too many. Other than that I was pleased.”
In a contest that saw 12 lead changes and neither team holding more than a two-possession lead in the opening 34 1/2 minutes, the Eagles used a 6-0 spurt to move ahead 63-56 on Mo Jeffers’ tip-in of Robinson’s missed short jumper with 6:23 to play. The basket capped a 13-5 run.
After Maverick Rowan hit a 3-pointer for N.C. State, the Eagles scored the next five points to take control.
The Eagles had a nine-point advantage sliced to four, but Tava hit two free throws with 30.2 seconds to play.
”I feel like we definitely executed better than the game before,” N.C. State forward Abdul-Malik Abu said. ”We did get better, but the outcome didn’t show it.”
BC had jumped to an 8-2 edge and Gottfried called timeout before things got away quickly.
On Sunday, N.C. State fell behind 26-4 in the opening minutes of a 51-point loss to then-No. 14 North Carolina.
N.C. State: Coming off the lopsided loss at UNC, the Wolfpack needed to play better just to regain confidence before a favorable stretch of three straight games at home – all against non-ranked conference foes. They responded with a decent effort.
”Slow progress is better than no progress,” Smith Jr. said.
Boston College: When Robinson and Bowman both are scoring, the Eagles are proving they can play with anyone in the league so far. That was the case again on Wednesday when the pair were clearly the main focus offensively on most trips down the floor.
HEY, I KNOW YOU
Robinson and Bowman are both from North Carolina. Robinson said it was fun playing against guys he knew.
”To me out there it just felt like another Raleigh pickup game, kinda, for a little bit,” he said. ”I grew up with a lot of those guys and played with them in the summer. It was normal. I felt comfortable. There’s no pressure, really.”
LOOK AT THE HOOP
Christian was happy 6-foot-6 graduate transfer Tava looked to score more instead of passing.
”I want him to look at the basket more,” the coach said. ”He’s such a facilitator of the offense, but he’s got to look at it, especially when teams sag on him like they did tonight.”
Tava was 5-for-8 from the floor.
Robinson had his conference-leading 13th game of 20 or more points.
N.C. State: Hosts Georgia Tech on Sunday.
Boston College: Travels to Syracuse on Saturday in a rematch of their New Year’s Day game played at BC. The Eagles won that contest by 15.