The Boston College Eagles came within inches of dealing the Miami Hurricanes a devastating loss — twice. But BC missed potential game-winners at the end of regulation and the first overtime, allowing Miami to secure an 89-86 double-overtime win that keeps its NCAA Tournament hopes alive.
“If we didn’t win this game, it might have been over for us as far as the NCAA Tournament is concerned,” sophomore Davon Reed said afterward. “We needed this game.”
Sheldon McClellan led UM (16-9, 6-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 24 points, and Reed had 19 in the win.
At the end of the first overtime, BC senior Patrick Heckmann drove to the basket with the score tied 76-76. He got an open look, only to watch the ball sit on the front of the rim before falling back off.
The Canes took advantage of the miss, thanks to five points from sophomore guard Manu Lecomte and four from junior center Tonye Jekiri in the second overtime.
The game went to extra time only after a chaotic final minute of regulation. Miami had the ball and a one-point lead when BC’s Dimitri Batten fouled junior guard Angel Rodriguez in the backcourt and Rodriguez caught Batten with an elbow —earning a technical. Both teams were given free throws, but Boston College (9-15, 1-11) got possession of the ball. The Eagles then tied the score, 66-66, with two more free throws and freshman Deandre Burnett turned the ball over on the other end, setting up a wayward game-winning attempt in the final seconds by BC’s Aaron Brown.
Rodriguez fouled out of the game with the technical, leaving backups Lecomte and Burnett to play all 10 minutes of overtime. Burnett, who had not played in six of Miami’s previous seven games, took advantage of the opportunity to make up for his regulation turnover.
With 24 seconds left in the first overtime, he received the inbounds pass as the Canes trailed by four. In six seconds, he took the ball the length of the floor, drove into the lane and sank a layup despite being fouled. He nailed the free throw and two more freebies on the next possession to tie the score at 76 before Heckmann’s miss.
“Deandre gave us a chance,” Miami coach Jim Larrañaga said. “Without that three-point play, we’ve got to hope for a miracle.”
Larrañaga added that he felt confident playing Burnett after seeing the freshman play better in practice. Burnett rewarded his coach’s decision with 13 points.
In the second overtime, Jekiri sank four crucial free throws. His first pair came with 54 seconds left to give Miami the lead. He made two more on the next possession to give the Hurricanes a four-point advantage they would not relinquish. Jekiri finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds despite playing with four fouls for the final 16 minutes of the game. He was just 2 for 9 from the field but made eight of his 10 free-throw attempts.
The Eagles nearly got a third buzzer-beater attempt, this time down three as double-overtime wound to a close. Junior Olivier Hanlan dribbled up the court, having already scored 32 points, but his game-tying attempt came after the buzzer sounded. The shot caromed off the rim anyway, just like BC’s attempts at the end of regulation and the previous overtime.