BLACKSBURG — The Boston College men’s basketball team has lost to Bryant, Harvard and the College of Charleston this season.
But it did not lose at Virginia Tech on Wednesday.
The Eagles led the entire second half en route to an 86-75 win over the depleted Hokies at Cassell Coliseum.
The Hokies (9-6, 0-2 ACC) have lost four straight games by double digits for the first time since ex-coach Ricky Stokes’ squad lost five straight by double digits in 2003.
“This is one we should’ve had,” said Erick Green, who had 24 points and nine assists for Tech.
Tech has allowed at least 86 points in each game of its four-game skid.
“We should be able to play [defense],” Green said. “I don’t understand what’s going on.”
The Hokies were down to six scholarship players because starting guard Robert Brown was home sick with a fever. Marshall Wood missed his fifth straight game with a broken foot.
“I’ve got some guys fighting,” Tech coach James Johnson said. “I’ve got to get more guys playing consistently.”
BC (9-6, 1-1), picked to finish last in the ACC preseason media poll, scored 29 points off 17 Tech turnovers.
“It doesn’t give us a chance to get our set defense,” Johnson said. “Twenty-nine points off of turnovers, we can’t guard that. … We can’t give up breakaway layups.”
The Eagles shot 56.3 percent from the field in the second half, when they scored 54 points. They drove past Tech for layup after layup.
“We weren’t staying in front of … the person we were guarding,” Green said. “If you don’t stay in front, they get by you.
“Trying to stay in front of the ball, we do it in practice. … But we’re not translating it into the game.”
Forward Ryan Anderson had 26 points and nine rebounds for BC, which scored 42 points in the paint.
“The game plan was … to cut off their shooters. So it created driving lanes, and guys [were] able to get by some guys and finish at the rim,” said Jarell Eddie, who had 21 points for Tech.
The Hokies’ 17 turnovers were their second-highest total of the season. Eddie had five of them. Green and Joey van Zegeren had three apiece.
“It’s just not taking care of the ball,” Green said.
“We closed out and we had two guys on the ball, were in the gaps, we got deflections,” said BC coach Steve Donahue, whose team had nine steals.
Tech had lost each of its previous three games by at least 23 points. This loss could have been just as lopsided, but BC missed 15 free throws (20 of 35).
Tech forward C.J. Barksdale, who did not play against Maryland last weekend because Johnson hadn’t been happy with his effort in recent games and practices, returned to the starting lineup. He had six points and four rebounds.
“I just started busting my tail, going hard every day harder than I’ve ever been going, and it paid off,” Barksdale said, “After that [Maryland game], I just made the adjustment and started working hard.”
Tech used eight players, including two walk-ons. Walk-on Christian Beyer had another good game, with six points and a team-high eight rebounds.
“A lot of people see walk-ons as just practice guys, but because of our depth, I’ve had to come in,” Beyer said. “The only thing I do is really give effort, go to the boards.”
Down 42-30, Tech cut the lead to 61-58 with 7:02 to go. But Green turned the ball over and Anderson made a layup, After an offensive foul on Marquis Rankin, Oliver Hanlan had a layup for a 65-58 cushion.
The Eagles, who won an ACC road game for the first time since the 2010-11 season, ended the first half on a 10-0 run for a 32-26 halftime lead.