Boston College takes 69-54 win over Holy Cross
BOSTON (AP)—During his 20 years in the Ivy League, Steve Donahue didn’t have to worry about who was a scholarship recruit and who was a walk-on.
Even though he’s at Boston College now, Donahue doesn’t see any reason to change.
“If you do it in practice, you should be rewarded,” he said Monday night after freshman walk-on Danny Rubin scored 14 points in his first start to lead Boston College to a 69-54 victory over Holy Cross. “He’s been playing well in practice.”
Rubin hit a pair of 3-pointers as the Eagles (2-1) scored 12 straight points early in the second half to turn a 1-point game into a double-digit lead. Corey Raji, who came off the bench for the first time since 2008, scored the other six points in the run to help Boston College recover from an embarrassing loss to Yale—the third straight season Boston College has lost to an Ivy League team.
“Corey, I thought, just wasn’t ready to play the other night,” said Donahue, who had no scholarships to give in the Ivy League when he spent a decade as a Penn assistant and another as Cornell head coach. “I don’t (differentiate) from walk-ons to scholarships. Maybe that’s from 20 years of only walk-ons.”
R.J. Evans scored 12 points with seven rebounds for Holy Cross (0-4), which kept it close until Rubin hit a 3-pointer to make it 39-35 with 16:48 to play. Raji made one of his own and then Rubin hit another before Raji’s three-point play gave Boston College a 48-35 lead with 13:10 left.
Boston College was 4-for-15 from 3-point range in the first half and 6-for-14 in the second.
“They hadn’t shot the 3 well, but you could tell Steve had told the guys just keep shooting the basketball,” Holy Cross coach Milan Brown said. “They just kept shooting it like it was going to go in. They hadn’t shot a great, great percentage. But they made enough of them to make us pay.”
Reggie Jackson had nine points and 10 assists, Raji had seven rebounds and Rubin had six for the Eagles.
“We’re all a team,” Raji said, who led all scorers with 15 points despite coming off the bench. “I knew by me not starting, someone else was going to step up. He was real composed and he did a great job.”
Rubin did not play in the 75-67 loss to Yale, but his hard work in practice was noticed and he was told of the switch before warmups.
“After that game, coach really stressed when we practiced that intensity in practice was going to factor into playing time,” Rubin said. “I just worked my butt off in practice, and I think he wanted to reward me for that.”
The two Massachusetts Jesuit schools have met 110 times since 1906, but it’s been a long time since Holy Cross boasted of basketball Hall of Famers like Bob Cousy and Tommy Heinsohn. Boston College had won 15 out of 16 meetings when the series was abandoned in 2006.
It came back this year as part of the Jesuit Basketball Spotlight, a national effort to bring attention to Jesuit education.
“They said we were going to start playing again. I thought it would be good just for both fan bases,” Brown said. “Rivalry games are fun. You want to be a part of that. I know our goal will be to get to a point where we’re a really good basketball team, and the rivalry means something.”