BC downs Columbia 81-66 behind Robinson’s 21 points
BOSTON (AP) — Boston College certainly had a reason to have an off-night after a signature victory over then-No. 1 Duke three days ago.
Jerome Robinson didn’t let it happen.
Robinson scored 21 points to lead BC to an 81-66 victory over Columbia on Tuesday in the Eagles’ first game since knocking off the previously-unbeaten Blue Devils.
“I think Jerome set a great tone for us today,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “To me, I’m always judging the process of how we try to get better. Today — in a good way — our guys were calling each other out.
“The guys that didn’t look mentally into the game, they were able to get on them and get them going. I think that helps and how teams grow.”
Ky Bowman had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Eagles (8-3) after earning Atlantic Coast Conference player of the week honors with his 30-point, 10-rebound and nine-assist performance Saturday against Duke.
The Eagles outrebounded Columbia 45-28 and went 11-for-25 on 3-point attempts after hitting a season-high 15 against Duke.
“I just put it in my mind to go to the basket a lot today because we shot so well against Duke,” Robinson said.
Jordan Chatman had 20 points and Nik Popovic 13 for BC, which won its third consecutive game.
Mike Smith paced the Lions (1-10) with 25 points. It was Columbia’s ninth straight loss.
BC didn’t let the Lions think about an upset for very long.
“I can certainly understand what Jimmy (Christian) was going through,” Lions coach Jim Engles said. “He’s playing against a team that’s 1-9 and I don’t think we’re a 1-9 team. I know his guys are looking at the record and just had a huge win — a program win — I’m sure it was something they were very aware of.”
The Eagles led 43-35 at halftime and used an early 11-2 run to push their advantage to 57-43 on Bowman’s 3-pointer from the right wing with 15:47 to play.
After a 3 by Columbia’s Quinton Adlesh, BC took control by scoring the next nine points. Popovic had a baseline drive for a basket, a conventional 3-point play and Robinson nailed a shot from beyond the arc to make it 66-46 with 12 ½ minutes to play.
Columbia: The Lions already have played eight road games this season. It’s fitting that they’ll open their Ivy League schedule with their first two away from home - at Princeton before going to Penn in January.
“In hindsight, it was huge mistake with the age of my team,” Engles said. “When you play on the road a lot, you get beaten down . and you lose your confidence and I think that’s where we are now right now.”
Boston College: It wasn’t surprising that the Eagles had a bit of a letdown after their big victory on Saturday. They fell behind by 11 points in the first half, but responded quickly by scoring 21 of the next 26. They have two more non-conference games before traveling to Virginia on December 30.
Bowman went to the bench late in the first half, holding his left arm in pain. After a trainer checked out his wrist and forearm, he returned to the game a couple of minutes later.
Christian and a few of his teammates came down to the end of the bench to check on him.
Conte Forum was back to a sparse gathering after a sellout for Duke. Like many BC home games, it was less than a quarter full.
HISTORY NOT REPEATED
In 2009, BC beat an Atlantic Coast power and No. 1 team - North Carolina - but lost its next game to an Ivy League school, falling to Harvard.
Columbia: Off until December 30 when the Lions host Maine.
Boston College: Hosts Central Connecticut on Sunday in the second of a three-game homestand.