Chatman scores 17, Popovic 15 as Boston College beats Miami
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (AP) — Boston College star Ky Bowman came down with a 102-degree fever on Saturday night.
Jordan Chatman and Nik Popovic played feverish basketball on Sunday to ensure the Eagles’ offense wouldn’t miss a beat.
Chatman finished with 17 points and Nik Popovic had 15 to carry the Boston College offense with Bowman under the weather in a 64-57 win over Miami.
“It’s just a team effort,” said Chatman, who became the 44th player in school history to score 1,000 points with a 3-pointer early in the second half. “You shoot the shots that you get and just practice, and they go in when they go in.”
Bowman, the Eagles’ leading scorer averaging 19.4 points, had six on 3-of-11 shooting with eight rebounds and eight assists after developing the fever and missing Sunday morning’s walkthrough.
B.C. coach Jim Christian even made contingency plans at point guard during Saturday’s practice in case Bowman was unable to go.
Chatman and Popovic proved to be enough insurance as Bowman still managed to contribute while playing a game-high 39 minutes.
″(Ky) just showed his courage and his guts,” Christian said. “It’s what he does. He’s a winner.”
Popovic also grabbed 14 rebounds after missing the Eagles’ win over Pittsburgh on Tuesday while in concussion protocol for the third time this season. Steffon Mitchell added nine points and six rebounds.
Boston College (13-11, 4-8 ACC) won its second straight game after losing four in a row.
Ebuka Izundu scored 14 points and Chris Lykes, Anthony Lawrence and Sam Waardenburg each had 10 apiece for Miami (11-14, 3-10), which had won two of three.
The Hurricanes were 65-64 winners against Clemson on Wednesday after Zach Johnson’s game-sealing jumper with 0.4 seconds left.
″(We face) so many incredible opponents in the ACC,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said.
Popovic made a pair of free throws with 17:54 remaining to give Boston College its first double-digit lead.
Miami fought back to pull within four twice after back-to-back baskets by Johnson with just under six minutes to play.
Mitchell’s free throw with 5:37 to go started an 11-1 run for BC, which got the lead up to 14 before sealing the win at the free-throw line.
“We tried to adjust some things offensively (at halftime), but they didn’t work either,” Larranaga said. “Bottom line is if you’re open and you’ve got a shot, it’s not the offense. It’s whether the shot goes in or not.”
Chatman’s 3 to make it 19-16 with 8:31 left in the opening half put the Eagles ahead for good. BC led 25-21 at the break.
Miami: The Canes briefly turned things around after a five-game skid, with their only loss in a three-game span before Sunday being an 88-85 overtime setback versus No. 8 North Carolina on Feb. 9. Miami plays three of its final five regular-season games on the road, including dates with No. 2 Duke on March 2 and No. 22 Virginia Tech on March 8.
Boston College: The Eagles put together back-to-back ACC wins for just the second time this season. BC faces two current Top-25 opponents in its final six games, hosting No. 16 Louisville on Feb. 27 and the Tar Heels on March 5. The Eagles continue to miss second-leading scorer Wynston Tabbs, out Sunday for a seventh straight game with a left knee injury.
Bill Curley became the seventh former Eagles player to have his jersey retired at halftime during a 25th-anniversary celebration of the school’s 1993-94 Elite Eight team.
The forward and Duxbury, Massachusetts, native averaged 16.7 points and 7.9 rebounds over four seasons from 1990-94. Curley, who wore number 15, is one of seven players in BC history to score 2,000 points and ranks fourth on both the school’s points (2,102) and rebounds (996) lists.
The ninth-seeded Eagles upset No. 8 Washington State, No. 1 North Carolina and No. 5 Indiana before falling to No. 3 Florida in the 1994 NCAA East Regional final.
“Guys, this (honor) represents us - and this is part of you as well,” the 46-year-old Curley said to a group of former teammates during the on-court ceremony.
IN THE ROUGH
Larranaga likened the Hurricanes’ rough shooting night (22 of 60, 36.7 percent) to a bad day on the golf course.
“There are nights when guys make every putt. There are nights when their driver’s not working and they hit it all over the place. Same guy,” he said. “Tonight a good shooting team like we are had a very bad night shooting and couldn’t figure out a way to overcome that.”
Ex-Boston Celtics star and current Denver Nuggets guard Isaiah Thomas worked out at the University of Miami during the NBA All-Star break. The school tweeted a photo of Thomas and sophomore guard Chris Lykes together with the caption “Learnin’ from one of the best PGs around.”
Miami: Hosts Georgia Tech next Saturday.
Boston College: Visits N.C. State on Wednesday night.
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