Belmont Eagles at Boston College
When: 2:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 16, 2019
Where: Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
CHESTNUT HILL – Boston College seeks its first 4-0 start in 12 years when it hosts a dangerous Belmont squad this afternoon in an on-campus Gotham Classic matchup. After opening the season with a hard-fought conference win over Wake Forest, the Eagles survived 27 turnovers in a victory at South Florida and then some rough shooting in a rout of High Point on Wednesday.
They finished at 36.9 percent from the floor while making 3-of-25 from 3-point range against the Panthers, but were dominant on the other end of the floor in a 59-33 victory.
“I liked the defensive intensity the whole game,” Boston College coach Jim Christian told reporters after his team forced 29 turnovers and held High Point to 25 percent shooting. “It’s not easy to do when you’re not making shots, it’s not easy to keep that intensity up the whole time, but we did it. That’s getting to be our identity.”
That defensive mindset could be challenged by a Bruins team that ranked second nationally in scoring last season (87.4) and is coming off a 95-point performance in a rout of Samford on Monday. Belmont was picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference in coach Casey Alexander’s first season.
TV: 2 p.m. ET, ACC Network
ABOUT BELMONT (1-1): Guard Adam Kunkel played sparingly as a freshman last season but has stepped into a starring role early in 2019-20, scoring in double figures for the first time in a season-opening loss to Illinois State before erupting for 28 points in Monday’s win. “It feels great coming off my career high last game and feels great to one-up that and get a little bit more,” Kunkel told reporters Monday after making 7-of-11 3-pointers and 10-of-14 shots overall. Three others are averaging at least 10 points for the Bruins, a group led by sophomore center Nick Muszynski (17.5).
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (3-0): The Eagles have some physical issues entering the weekend, as leading scorer Derryck Thornton (17.3) left Wednesday’s game with an ankle injury and sophomore forward Jairus Hamilton has missed two straight games with a leg issue. Freshman guard Jay Heath is averaging 12.7 points while junior forward Steffon Mitchell continues to fill up the box score following a double-double versus High Point.
“Yeah, I think whoever’s on the court, I think everyone buys into every detail,” Mitchell – who averages 10.7 rebounds, four assists, 2.7 steals and two blocks – told reporters. “I think everybody on the team, as soon as they step on the court, they do what they can to succeed.”
- Eagles senior G Jared Hamilton, Jairus’ older brother, scored a season-high 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting in Wednesday’s win.
- Bruins sophomore G Grayson Murphy is averaging 10 points, 8.5 rebounds, five assists and four steals.
- This marks the first meeting between the teams.