March 16, 2001
REGIONAL: East, second round.
TIME: Thursday, 5:30 p.m. EST.
SITE: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y.
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - After averting a catastrophe in the opening round, Boston College knows itwill need a stronger and more complete effort to get past Southern Californiain the second round of the East Regional.
Southern Utah nearly sent the Eagles home early on Thursday, but co-Big Eastplayer of the year Troy Bell scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half asBoston College held on for a 68-65 victory.
'Last year we lose a game like this,' Bell admitted after watchingSouthern Utah's Justin Sant miss a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer.'(Last year, we were) not mature enough, not patient enough. Now we are and westepped up.'
Eagles guard Xavier Singletary, who scored 15 points against Southern Utah,knows Boston College will have to be event better against the Trojans.
'We will have to become more patient,' Singletary said. 'We will need 40minutes of effort and need to show more heart on the floor. USC is moreathletic than the team we faced on Thursday.'
The Eagles grabbed a season-high 57 rebounds against Southern Utah,something that is unlikely to happen against the Trojans, who boast aformidable frontline featuring center Brian Scalabrine and forwards DavidBlumenthal and Sam Clancy.
'USC can rebound,' Eagles coach Al Skinner said. 'They are very athletic.They have size and they do a fine job defensively. The size issue is not a newchallenge for us. We faced two 6-10 kids (on Thursday). That has been a problemfor us all year long.'
'I wouldn't say we have a height advantage over Boston College,' said the6-9 Scalabrine, who will not have to deal with anyone bigger than 6-8 forwardUka Agbai in the Eagles' starting lineup. 'We just present wider bodies. Weare aware that they were successful on the boards against Southern Utah.'
The Trojans smothered Oklahoma State in the opening round, running out to acommanding 48-19 halftime lead en route to an easy 69-54 triumph in their firstNCAA tournament game since 1997.
'It felt good to win in the NCAA tournament,' Scalabrine said. 'Like afavorite meal, you can never get enough of it.'
Boston College, which went 11-19 last season, is also competing in its firstNCAA tournament since 1997, when the Eagles were knocked out by St. Joseph's inthe second round.
PROBABLE STARTERS: Southern California - F Clancy (17.2 ppg, 71. rpg), FBlumenthal (13.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg), C Scalabrine (15.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg), G BrandonGlanville (13.5 ppg, 6.0 apg), G Trepagnier (7.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg). Boston College- F Kenny Walls (7.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg), F Kenny Harley (11.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg), F Agbai(9.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg), G Singletary (12.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.9 apg), G Bell (19.8ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.5 apg).
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Southern California - At-large bid. Boston College -Automatic bid, Big East champion.
ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Southern California - 7-12, 11 years. BostonCollege - 17-12, 12 years.