Boston College 58, Virginia Tech 56
After getting hammered by No. 23 North Carolina in its previous game, Boston College spent a few days talking about defense. It certainly paid off in the final seconds.
Reggie Jackson scored all 10 of his points in the closing 11 minutes and Boston College held on for a 58-56 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday despite the Hokies having three chances in the final 24 seconds.
Joe Trapani led the Eagles (15-8, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 14 points and nine rebounds, but his biggest play was a block on Malcom Delaney in the closing seconds.
''The last possession we really took it as a challenge,'' said Jackson, who nailed a key 3-pointer that pushed BC ahead for good with 5:03 to play.
The Eagles, coming off an embarrassing 106-74 home loss to North Carolina on Tuesday, had lost four of their last five games.
On Saturday, they were dominated on the glass, mainly by Jeff Allen, but pulled it out by forcing the Hokies to take a tough shot as the clock was winding down.
''I thought we did a tremendous job for most of the game on the defensive end,'' BC coach Steve Donahue said. ''I was real proud of how we came back and played defense.''
Jackson's spinning move in the lane gave BC a 58-54 edge with 1:07 left. Delaney then nailed a long jumper with just under a minute to play.
After BC failed to score on the ensuing possession, Delaney was fouled. He missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Allen grabbed the rebound and fed Delaney, who was blocked by Trapani.
The Hokies came up with the loose ball, but the Eagles took away their first few offensive options and Erick Green was forced to take a wide-open 3 that he missed. BC's Biko Paris grabbed the rebound to seal it.
Green finished 0 for 8 from the floor.
''I didn't come through for my team. It's as simple as that,'' Delaney said. ''I'm a senior and (there's) a chance to put the game in overtime or to get it there, at least give us a chance to get to overtime. Jeff had a real good rebound and we had two or three good looks, so I can't really be mad at it. We put ourselves in position to win the game. We just didn't finish it.''
Allen had his fourth straight double-double and 39th of his career with 25 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Hokies (15-7, 5-4). Delaney had 19 points, eight coming in the final 5 1/2 minutes.
Virginia Tech, which had 16 offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Eagles 40-32, lost for just the third time in 14 games. The Hokies fell to 1-9 all-time in Conte Forum.
''It's just disappointing, is the way to put it,'' Hokies coach Seth Greenberg said. ''We got up one, we couldn't get stops, we couldn't finish possessions. It didn't come down to that last shot, there were so many other things.''
Delaney's 3 from the top of the key pushed Virginia Tech ahead 49-48 with 5 1/2 minutes to play - just its second lead of the game - before Jackson nailed a 3 on the ensuing possession. Trapani then hit a 3 on BC's next trip, moving the Eagles in front 54-49 with 4:25 to go.
Jackson, the Eagles' leading scorer at 18 points a game, was held scoreless until he hit a fadeaway jumper and was fouled midway into the second half. He also made the free throw to give BC a 42-39 edge with 11:07 left.
Jackson started 0 for 5 from the floor and was a combined 5 for 21 in the previous two games, going 0 for 7 from behind the 3-point line.
''The only thing I said to him is I think he's thinking too much about jump shots,'' Donahue said when asked what he may have told his star at halftime. ''The thing he does best is around the rim.''
The Eagles, who held Virginia Tech to 30.4-percent shooting (7 of 23) in the opening half, led 27-24 at intermission.
BC pulled to a 22-12 lead on Danny Rubin's 3-pointer from the top midway into the first half, but the Hokies scored 12 of the final 17 points to close the half.
The Hokies never led in the opening 20 minutes.