GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Reggie Jackson was one of three Boston College players with at least 20 points in the Eagles’ 81-67 victory against Wake Forest on Thursday in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Jackson scored 27, Joe Trapani added 22 points and Biko Paris had 21 for the fifth-seeded Eagles (20-11).
They shot nearly 54 percent on 29-of-54 shooting, made 10 3-pointers and used a huge first-half run to boost their NCAA tournament chances and blow out Wake Forest for the second time this week.
The Eagles will face fourth-seeded Clemson on Friday in a quarterfinal matchup of NCAA bubble teams.
Travis McKie had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the 12th-seeded Demon Deacons (8-24), who haven’t won an ACC tournament game since 2007. They never led and capped the losingest season in school history with their 11th straight defeat.
Jackson, an all-ACC guard, had his 13th 20-point game of the season while Paris matched a career high with six 3s and finished two points shy of his personal best, helping BC extend its winning streak to four.
The Eagles became the first team with three 20-point scorers in an ACC tournament game since North Carolina in a quarterfinal loss to Georgia Tech in 2004.
BC came to Greensboro this week looking for a few wins to bolster its NCAA tournament resume. According to an unofficial online replication of the RPI formula, the Eagles entered at No. 44 against the nation’s 28th-toughest schedule.
They got things rolling midway through the first half, then kept the Demon Deacons at arm’s length the rest of the way to avoid a bid-threatening bad loss to perhaps the worst team in one of the six power conferences.
Wake Forest cut it to 12 three times in the final 6 1/2 minutes before making it 78-67 on Nikita Mescheriakov’s hook shot with 1:25 left, but couldn’t get any closer.
Gary Clark and J.T. Terrell added 15 points apiece while Mescheriakov had 13 for the Demon Deacons. They lost their fifth straight ACC tournament game, added to their school record for losses in a season, closed Jeff Bzdelik’s first year with losses in 20 of 22 games since mid-December and finished with their fewest wins since going 8-21 in 1985-86.
The Eagles — who hit 12 3-pointers in their 16-point win over Wake Forest last Sunday — went up big with an efficient 4-minute stretch midway through the first half in which they outscored the Demon Deacons 20-4 while racking up points in threes.
BC hit 3-pointers on five of six possessions in that stretch — and converted an old-fashioned three-point play on the other trip downcourt — before Jackson capped the burst with a jumper that made it 35-18 with 5 1/2 minutes before the break.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)