Boston College Edges UVa, Final Score 70-67

Next on the UVa Basketball Schedule: Georgia Tech, January 22, Charlottesville

Four Cavaliers scored in double figures tonight in a back-and-forth second half that left Virginia on the wrong side, as Boston College edged past the Cavaliers 70-67. Junior Assane Sene had quite the night, posting career highs with 11 points and 5 blocks. He was also one short of a double-double, with nine rebounds.

Still, for the third straight time, Virginia fans are left unsatisfied. With victory so close -- the Hoos led No. 1 Duke by as many as 10 and North Carolina by as many as 11 -- it's only a matter of time before the Cavaliers start catching a few breaks and start flipping these Ls into Ws.

Right?

On the one hand, Virginia, which falls to 1-3 in the ACC, has been competitive in each of these three losses. The Cavaliers did a great job containing Reggie Jackson, despite the box scoring showing him with 16 points. Truth of the matter is that, whenever he was on the floor, Virginia did a good job double-teaming him and creating traffic for everyone. Nearly half those points can in the final few minutes for Jackson, though in critical time.

Also noteworthy is that the Eagles' three-point shooting was held to 28.6% (6-21). In fact, most of the box score would suggest that Virginia should have won the game.

Virginia Cavaliers Boston College Eagles
Field Goals 25-57 (43.9%) 22-54 (40.7%)
Threes 9-23 (39.1%) 6-21 (28.6%)
Rebounds 34 34
Blocks 5 3
Turnovers 7 5

On the other hand, it was a sloppy game, and all three most recent games have been sloppy. More than sloppy. Face-palmingly ugly. The good thing is that this sort of play favors Virginia. The bad thing is that inevitably, one team "turns it on," and it hasn't been Virginia.

The stat line I didn't include above was personal fouls. Virginia had 21, with both Mustapha Farrakhan and Joe Harris fouling out (the former was due to end-of-game fouling, the flatter was due to overeagerness) and sending Boston College to the line a whopping 25 times leading to 20 points. By comparison, BC had only 11 personal fouls, sending Virginia to the line only 12 times leading to 8 points.

These ugly games are good here and there as an equalizer when the other team has McDonald's All-Americans while your team has diamonds in the rough. And this will work for the next game or two. But as other teams begin cementing their rotations, building the chemistry, and generally preparing for March action, you can't count on your team's ugly play to bring down the rest of the competition.

Virginia is in a favorable stretch of the schedule coming up, hosting Georgia Tech this Saturday (note that football recruit Curtis Grant will be making an official visit at the game) and Maryland next Thursday. The Cavaliers will then visit Wake Forest, a team that lost by too many points for me to give them the light of day in this paragraph. Virginia will then host Clemson and travel to Miami.

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