West Virginia 108, No. 20 Boston College 89
NEWTON, Mass. (AP) _ Seldon Jefferson and Greg Simpson each scored 23 points Wednesday night as West Virginia beat No. 20 Boston College 108-89, damaging the Eagles’ NCAA hopes in the process.
West Virginia (11-13, 6-10 Big East) never trailed against the supposedly superior Eagles (16-7, 9-6), who were thought to need easy wins over the Mountaineers and Rutgers to earn an NCAA at-large bid.
Now Boston College will probably need to beat Rutgers and then win at least one game in the Big East tournament _ neither of which can be assumed based on Wednesday’s performance. BC also has regular-season games against No. 11 Georgetown and No. 4 Villanova.
Damian Owens scored 21 points and Gordon Malone had 17 for West Virginia.
Danya Abrams had 18 points with 14 rebounds and Duane Woodward scored 17 points for BC, which has lost three in a row at home while winning four straight road games, including an easy 85-63 win over West Virginia on Feb. 3.
This time, though, the Mountaineers used an efficient fast break to take over the game with a 15-2 run that gave them a 45-26 lead with 2:18 left in the first half. BC cut the lead from 18 points to 10 by fouling but couldn’t get any closer as the Mountaineers, who went to the line on 15 of 16 possessions, making 23 of 30 foul shots in the last 4:05.
West Virginia improved to 2-7 against ranked teams this season, having also beaten then-No. 12 Syracuse on Jan. 16.
It was 30-24 West Virginia when the Mountaineers scored 15 of the next 17 points, getting seven from Owens. They took their biggest lead of the game, 54-34, with 17:43 left.
BC scored 12 of the next 16 points, capped by Keenan Jourdon’s three-point play, to cut the deficit to 10. The Eagles cut the lead to 10 again in the final minutes.