When you go up against a player who has the kind of performance that Reggie Jackson had for Boston College tonight, there’s only so much you can do (besides preventing him from having open looks, but that would just be too easy). The junior guard scored 31 points on 12-16 shooting, made five of seven shots from beyond the arc, and had eight rebounds as the Eagles got an important 76-72 victory over Maryland at the Conte Forum.
Jackson could do no wrong – it was really a Jimmer Fredette-esque performance – and Maryland’s perimeter defense really just was not up to the task. The Terps were almost bailed out by Corey Raji, who scored 12 (the only other BC player in double digits) but missed all seven of his three point attempts.
The Eagles did a fantastic job inside on Jordan Williams, triple-teaming him at times and making him go to the line. The sophomore finished the game with 12 points and seven rebounds on three of seven shooting, but made six of his eight free throw attempts. The pressure of BC’s defense got to him at many points – the big man had three turnovers (as did Sean Mosley, Terrell Stoglin, and Cliff Tucker).
Pe’Shon Howard may have solidified his spot as the starting point guard, scoring 14 points with three assists and hitting four of five three point attempts. There was a stretch in the first half where the Terps really needed a bost, and MVPe’ responded with three clutch threes in a row.
Mosley, Dino Gregory, and Stoglin all scored in double figures, and Tucker was held scoreless; the senior missed all four of his field goal attempts to go along with the three turnovers.
This one obviously was not as tough to swallow as the last-minute heartbreaker against BC earlier this year in College Park, but it’s a bad one to lose. This is a road game Maryland felt they could have won (at least before Jackson decided to go all MJ on their asses), and instead they find themselves very much on the outside of the bubble.
Of course, there is a chance the Terps can still make the tournament, although don’t hold your breathe. The beauty of college basketball is if you win your conference tournament, you’re in – and the Terps can play with anyone in the conference. In terms of an at-large bid, it’s not looking good, but there’s a chance – it’s always hard to win in Blacksburg and in Chapel Hill, but if they do that (along with winning the rest of their games) and do well in the ACC Tournament, Maryland may be dancing come March.
The Terps play next at Virginia Tech this Tuesday, February 15. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.