Men's Hoops Edged By No. 13 Boston College, 80-78
Dec 8, 2001
By JIMMY GOLEN
BOSTON - Troy Bell scored a career-high 34 points for No. 13 Boston College, which nearly squandered a 23-point second-half lead before holding on to beat Massachusetts 80-78 on Saturday night.
Ryan Sidney, playing with his broken jaw wired shut, had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Boston College (7-0), which has won 23 consecutive home games but has beaten UMass (4-2) just twice in the seven-year history of the Commonwealth Classic.
Sidney had his lowest scoring output of the season, and well below his team-leading season average of 21.3 points coming in. But the injury didn't stop him from driving the basket, crashing the boards, or playing cheerleader for the Eagles.
With six minutes left and BC down to a 59-54 lead after a 25-6 UMass run, Sidney waved his hands at the crowd, pointing to his mouth as if to say, "I can't cheer, so you have to." The fans responded, and so did the Eagles.
BC scored six consecutive points to expand its lead and protect its perfect record. Anthony Anderson scored 19 points for UMass, hitting three 3-pointers in the final 15.2 seconds to give the Minutemen a final chance.
But BC was able to inbound the ball with 2.8 seconds left, and Kenny Walls dribbled out the clock to preserve the victory.
Bell had 18 in the first half as BC took a 44-21 lead. The Eagles led 51-28 with 16:23 left before UMass cut the deficit to four points, 57-53.
But Bell hit a pair of free throws and, after Raheim Lamb made one for
UMass, Bell rebounded Sidney's missed free throw, dribbled around and sank a
bank shot to make it 62-54. Andrew Bryant made one free throw and then Bell
made a 14 footer to give BC an 11-point lead and equal his career high of 32
points, achieved during last year's NCAA tournament in a second-round loss to
Sidney was injured Thursday when he ran into forward Brian Ross in practice. He had his jaw secured with wires and rubber bands.