Boston College 64, Indiana 51
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ Turnovers, cold shooting and Boston College gave Bob Knight plenty to grouse about Friday night.
The surprise team of the Big East scored the game’s final 10 points to bounce Knight’s Indiana Hoosiers from the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years with a 64-51 victory in the Southeast Regional.
It was the second straight first-round loss for Knight, who a year ago drew a $30,000 fine for berating an interview-room volunteer following Indiana’s loss to Missouri.
Knight barked instructions to his players and, at times, paced the sideline or sat with an exasperated look on his face after his team turned the ball over 18 times against Boston College’s combination man-to-man and zone defenses.
But the coach was composed and well-behaved in a postgame press conference.
``We only had two chances in the game,″ he said, referring to a pair of challenges that Boston College (19-10) successfully fought off in the second half. ``Except for those two moments, we really weren’t in the same game they were in.″
Danya Abrams scored 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, including two crucial offensive boards that killed any chance for an Indiana rally.
Abrams powered his way to the basket for two layups down the stretch and Indiana lost a third straight NCAA game _ dating back to a loss to Boston College two years ago _ for the first time under Knight.
``They’re so big it was hard for me to get position down low,″ the 6-foot-7, 265-pound Abrams said. ``During tournament time, when the shots go up you have to be a man and go get the ball.″
Andrae Patterson led the Hoosiers with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Neil Reed was the only other Indiana player in double figures with 11.
Sixth-seeded Indiana (19-12) shot just 37 percent and got a season-low seven points on 2-for-14 shooting from Brian Evans, the Big Ten player of the year and the only Hoosier to win the conference scoring title in Knight’s 25 seasons at the school.
``We really gang-tackled him, if you will,″ said Boston College coach Jim O’Brien. ``We had a lot of guys on him. We made a concerted effort to know where he was.″
Boston College (19-10) beat the Hoosiers in the East Regional semifinals two years ago. Four players remain on the roster from that team, but Abrams was the only one with NCAA tournament experience before Friday night.
The Eagles shocked the Big East this season after winning only two conference games last year. Scoonie Penn was one of the reasons, earning Big East freshman of the year honors.
The 5-10 guard was relaxed in his NCAA debut, scoring 19 points, including a pair of rainbow 3-pointers that gave the Eagles a lift early in the second half.
``When you see Indiana, you think of Bob Knight and the history they have,″ Penn said. ``You just get pumped up to play them.″
Knight said before the game that it was difficult to predict how the Hoosiers, who finished second in the Big Ten, might play. He likened the state of readiness from game-to-game this season as a little like Halloween.
``You never know who’s going to show up at the door,″ said Knight, who’s won three national titles at Indiana and has a 40-17 record in the NCAA tournament.
Indiana’s 33-25 halftime deficit was a bad omen. The Hoosiers were 19-1 during the regular season when leading at the intermission but 0-10 when trailing.
Boston College rebuffed two Indiana runs in the second half, the last a 9-2 spurt that trimmed the Eagles’ lead to 54-51. Antonio Granger’s 3-pointer gave BC a six-point lead and Indiana faded quickly after Todd Lindeman missed the front end of a one-and-one and Evans misfired on a jumper from the corner.
``Obviously, it’s very disappointing,″ Evans said. ``I just didn’ seem to get anything to fall for me. They did a good job of waving a hand in my face and contesting my shots.″
Knight was asked about the Hoosiers’ three-game losing streak in tournament play.
``There are probably a lot of teams who aren’t in the tournment who have three straight losses,″ he said. ``It’s not like we’re destitute.″
When the press conference was over, Knight rose and offered a parting comment.
``I’d just like to say I appreciate this press conference being handled better than the last NCAA press conference I attended.″