The Cavaliers (12-1, 1-0 ACC) tipped-off ACC play today in their narrow victory against the Boston College Eagles (10-4, 1-1 ACC). The Hoos were carried by second year guard, Ty Jerome, who scored a career-high 31 points on 11-17 shooting, including six three pointers.
Fellow second year guard, Kyle Guy, added 11 points and three baskets from distance, while senior forward, Isaiah Wilkins contributed eight points to go along with his career high 14 rebounds (five offensive).
Boston College was fueled by their impressive backcourt of Jerome Robinson and Jordan Chatman. Robinson scored 29 points on 11-22 shooting, while Chatman added 18 points on 5-7 shooting, including 4-5 from behind the three-point arc. Those two accounted for all but 11 of the Eagle’s points, with no other player scoring more than five.
The contest got off to a quick start with the Hoos jumping out to a quick eight-point lead. Kyle Guy hit the first shot of the game, a deep three-pointer, which was quickly followed by an impressive drive and floater from Isaiah Wilkins. Jack Salt had an impressive steal on the defensive side of the floor, which led to an acrobatic finish at the rim from Ty Jerome. Salt then had a thunderous dunk off a nifty no-look pass from Jerome, followed by a jumper from Kyle Guy to push to an early 13-7 lead.
The Hoos would push to a 17-10 lead before their offense began to stall out. They were held scoreless from the 13-minute mark all the way until the 7:10 point in the game. During that stretch, the defense only allowed nine points, dropping the Hoos to a 17-19 deficit.
The drought was ended empathically with a barrage of three-pointers, first from Jerome, to end the drought, then Guy on the next possession, then Jerome once again on the following possession. Boston College survived the mini 9-0 run and battled back to enter halftime only down five points.
The second half was a back-and-forth affair. Every time the Cavaliers would make a run, the Eagles would quickly answer with a run of their own to pull back within striking distance.
Chatman made a long three-pointer with a little under 15 minutes to play, and Ty Jerome hit his own three-pointer the very next possession. Jerome Robinson made a difficult layup to take a 41-42 lead, and Ty answered with a standing three-pointer. Two possessions later, Ty Jerome made finished a layup in traffic and drew the foul. Kyle Guy would then add a three pointer to take a six-point lead, only to have Chatman and Robinson hit back-to-back threes to tie it again at 51.
With 0:53 seconds remaining, Ty Jerome was fouled and made both of his free throws to push the Cavalier lead to 59-55. Jerome Robinson then hit a three-pointer to pull within one point with 0:44 seconds to play. On the other end of the floor, Isaiah Wilkins got his own three-pointer half-way down, before it rattled out. Ty Jerome (who was just everywhere) snatched the rebound and passed it out to Devon Hall, who was fouled on the floor.
Hall missed the front-end of his free-throws, which led to a fast-break from BC’s Ky Bowman. At the rim, Bowman was blocked by Isaiah Wilkins, but the Eagles recovered the rebound and called a timeout with 3.1 seconds to play.
On the ensuing possession, Isaiah Wilkins stole the inbound pass, and drove the length of the floor to finish the game with a dunk as time expired. However, the clock started before anyone had touched the ball, resulting in a replay of the entire play. This time around, the Eagles successfully inbounded the ball to forward Nik Popovic, but he was called for a push-off on his last shot attempt, ending the game for good.
Following the West Virginia game, many had labeled Ty Jerome as being in a bit of a shooting slump. He was not shooting the ball particularly well, and had put up less points than many fans had become accustomed to him scoring. Today’s game dispelled all of the rumors. Ty Jerome is a bad, bad man. With Devon Hall playing his worst game of the season offensively, and Kyle Guy struggling with his shot, Ty completely took over this game. He accounted for over half of Virginia’s points, including the final eight of the game. The Hoos needed him to step-up, and he did in a big way.
Isaiah Wilkins Is Good at Basketball
The fourth year forward scored eight points on 4-7 shooting, but his impact on this game was so much more than that. He pulled down an incredible 14 rebounds, five on the offensive glass, and played outstanding defense, racking up four highlight reel blocks. He brings a huge amount of energy to both sides of the floor, and plays with emotion unlike any other player in the country. Although he only scored eight points this game, his role was just as, if not more important than Ty Jerome’s.
The Hoos travel to Blacksburg to take on rival Virginia Tech on Wednesday night.