GAME NOTES: The Boston College Eagles hope to avoid their first 0-3 start in 50 years as they host the Toledo Rockets at Conte Forum as part of the 2K Sports Classic.
The Rockets were ineligible for postseason play last season which forced them to let a 15-13 overall finish and tie for first in the Mid-American Conference West Division go to waste. Coach Tod Kowalczyk's team will be eligible for postseason play this season and it has as good a chance to win its conference tournament, thanks to returning four of its top seven players in terms of minutes played. Toledo completed a 102-55 rout of NAIA foe Northwestern Ohio to begin its campaign on a positive note.
The legendary Bob Cousy was the head coach of the Eagles when they began the 1963-64 season with three consecutive losses. Boston College is in danger of falling to the mark again after suffering an 82-78 overtime loss at Providence in its season-opener and a 13-point setback versus Massachusetts on Sunday. Coach Steve Donahue's squad held a 45-36 lead with 16:44 left in regulation before it allowed the Minutemen to take control with a 31-9 run en route to an 86-73 decision.
This will be the first meeting in history between Toledo and Boston College.
MAC Player of the Year candidate Rian Pearson (17.9 ppg, 6.8 rpg) is expected to be the engine for Toledo's success again after leading the team in scoring, rebounding and steals in each of the past two seasons. Pearson paced the Rockets with 19 points in 22 minutes versus Northwestern Ohio. Toledo dominated the NAIA school as it sank 62.7 percent of its field goal tries and held a 46-30 edge in the rebounding battle. Pearson, who also swiped five steals, was just one of six players to score in double figures. Loyola- Maryland transfer Justin Drummond made a strong impression in his program debut with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. Julius Brown showed he is going to be one of the MAC's top floor generals once again as he tallied 13 points and a team-high eight assists.
Junior forward Ryan Anderson recorded 22 points and seven rebounds for Boston College versus UMass. Anderson went 8-of-16 from the field and added three blocks and the same number of assists. He has scored 20 points or more on five occasions in his career after accomplishing that feat in his last two outings. Olivier Hanlan scored 19 points and Patrick Heckmann provided 11 points off the bench in the disappointing loss to the Minutemen. Hanlan has scored 36 of his 42 points this season after halftime. The Eagles have converted 47.2 percent of their field goal attempts, while limiting their opponents to 46.3 percent shooting from the floor. They have averaged 16.5 less rebounds per game than their opposition in the two losses.
With the way the Rockets are built, Boston College will not have an easy time ending its losing slide. Toledo has plenty of talent and athleticism, which will make it hard for Donahue's team to resolve its trouble in the rebounding battle. The hosts will need Anderson to continue his impressive start to fend off Rockets, who are sure to give a spirited effort against the only Atlantic Coast Conference program they are have on their regular season schedule.
Game Date and Time