Jackson carries Boston College over Indiana 88-76
BOSTON (AP) — Boston College coach Steve Donahue’s style of play is starting to pay off quickly. Just ask Indiana coach Tom Crean.
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Reggie Jackson scored 27 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists to lift Boston College to an 88-76 win over Indiana on Wednesday in an Atlantic Coast Conference/Big Ten Challenge matchup.
The victory improved the Eagles (5-2) to 5-0 against the Big Ten since joining the ACC. The Eagles are the only unbeaten school in the series of either conference.
The once mainly in-the-paint, low-post style offensive attack run by fired former coach Al Skinner, has been replaced by a fastbreaking 3-point shooting offense of Donahue, who was hired away from Cornell.
‘‘I think a lot of guys are getting a part of this. I think the guys are learning what can be gained from behind the line,’’ Donahue said. ‘‘I think we’re working real hard in the 3-point shooting. I watch them in the drills. I have great confidence in this team shooting 3s.’’
The Eagles nearly squandered a 14-point halftime edge, but when the Hoosier made a charge they hit big 3s.
‘‘Everybody is making a conscious effort in the gym to take the shots we’re going to see in the game,’’ Jackson said.
BC was 10 of 24 from beyond the arc, getting six of its 12 second-half baskets from behind the 3-point line.
‘‘I think he has done an excellent job of taking of what he wants to do and what he’s done as a coach — with his style of play — and incorporated into what they do very well,’’ Crean said. ‘‘And Reggie Jackson is the toughest matchup we’ve seen thus far in my now three years at Indiana.’’
Indiana (6-1) was off to its best start under coach Crean.
Biko Paris tied his career high with 19 points for BC and Corey Raji had nine points and six rebounds.
Christian Watford led the Hoosiers with 23 points. Maurice Creek had 15.
The Eagles, who never trailed and were tied just twice in the opening minutes of the game, led 43-29 at halftime.
‘‘He’s an excellent coach,’’ Crean said. ‘‘They’re going to have a lot of success here with Steve.’’
The Hoosiers erased a good portion of a 14-point halftime deficit in the opening 90 seconds of the second half by scoring the initial eight points. They had closed it to 60-59 before BC got hot from beyond the 3-point line. Five of the Eagles’ first nine baskets in the second half were 3s.
Paris’ two free throws gave BC a 53-43 lead before Indiana scored nine of the next 12 points, closing it to 56-52 on Victor Oladipo’s fastbreak jam with just over 11 minutes to play.
After Jackson nailed a 3 for BC, the Hoosiers outscored the Eagles 8-1 to cut it to 60-59 on Jordan Hulls’ jumper from the top of the key with 7 1/2 minutes left.
Danny Rubin then sandwiched a pair of 3s around one by Paris during an 15-5 spree as the Eagles moved ahead 75-64 with over under three minutes to play. After the 3s, Jackson had a pair of driving baskets and Paris a cutting layup.
‘‘He doesn’t have a lot of guys, but the guys he puts out there can really play,’’ Crean said ‘‘Rubin just killed us on a couple of 3s because he’s an excellent shooter. He’s very underrated as a player. You can fly at him and he stays with his shot, which is rare for a player.’’
The Hoosiers were 7 of 22 on 3-point attempts.
In the first half, Boston College scored nine unanswered points midway into the game en route to a 23-10 edge. Paris keyed the spree with a 3 from the left corner.
The Eagles used a quick pace to set up their offense for a number of quality shots along with a tough man defense in the opening 20 minutes, shooting 51.6 percent and forcing the Hoosiers into seven turnovers. BC only had two.
Jeremiah Rivers, son of Boston Celtics’ coach Doc Rivers, played for Indiana while his Dad was coaching against Portland about six miles away. The younger Rivers had two points. At one point when he was at the free throw line, the BC students behind one of the baskets chanted ‘‘Over-rated.’’
Indiana feel to 3-7 in ACC/Big Ten Challenge games.
It was just the fourth meeting ever between the schools. BC owns a 3-1 edge.