Boston College begins its trip to St. Thomas and the 2022 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam with a Friday night game against a first-time opponent in George Mason.
The Eagles (2-1) pushed back late after a lackluster start on Monday, but a 69-64 loss to Maine concluded their season-opening, three-game homestand. Makai Ashton-Langford scored 12 of his game-high 18 points in the second half.
“We take it one day at a time. I think over the last 10 days, with the circumstances we’ve faced, we’ve actually grown,” Boston College coach Earl Grant said. “Sometimes you’ve got to go through some tough times in order to grow. I think that’s where we are.”
Those circumstances are injury-related as a pair of forwards — freshman Prince Aligbe and senior Quinten Post — were out against Maine.
DeMarr Langford Jr. did make his season debut after an ankle injury kept him out of BC’s wins against Cornell and Detroit Mercy. He scored 10 points in 28 minutes off the bench.
“None of the three games we’ve played were easy. They were actually all very similar,” Grant said. “We just came up short (Monday).”
BC will look to respond against a formidable Atlantic 10 foe. The Patriots (2-1) were slotted fifth in the 15-team league’s preseason poll and have defeated Longwood and American since an opening loss to then-No. 15 Auburn.
Victor Bailey Jr. led George Mason with a season-high 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting Sunday against American. DeVon Cooper hit five 3-pointers as part of an 18-point effort, leading the conference’s top offense (40.6 percent per game) from beyond the arc.
“Like us, (Boston College) struggled some last season, but they have a year under their belt understanding what coach Grant values and have added some talent,” said George Mason’s Kim English, a fellow second-year coach. “A really good challenge for us. I’m really excited about this game.”
The tournament, English said, exactly mimics an NCAA tournament scenario. Friday’s winner will face the winner of an earlier game between Belmont and Tarleton State on Sunday. The loser will play on Saturday. The tournament title game is Monday.
–Field Level Media