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Corey Raji to miss BC-UMass game

12.04.10 at 9:04 am ET
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BC forward Corey Raji, who banged his head in Wednesday’s win over Indiana and sat out the second half, will not play when the Eagles take on UMass on Saturday night in the Tip-Off Classic at Boston Garden. Raji, who scored his 1,000th career point Wednesday, is averaging 11.1 points and 6.3 rebounds this season.

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Mark Herzlich shares ACC’s Brian Piccolo Award

12.03.10 at 1:18 pm ET
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Boston College’s Mark Herzlich and NC State’s Nate Irving were named co-winners of the Brian Piccolo Award as “the most courageous football players in the ACC.” The players, both senior linebackers, overcame life-threatening injuries to return to the field this season.

Herzlich is the first BC player to receive the award, named for the Wake Forest running back who was the 1965 ACC Athlete of the Year. Piccolo, a native of Pittsfield, Mass., went on to play for the Chicago Bears before his career and life were cut short when he was stricken with cancer. Piccolo died in 1970, and his story was told in the movie “Brian’s Song” the following year.

Herzlich missed last season after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a cancer that attacks soft tissue and bone. He then developed a fracture in his right foot preparing for his return this season, but he didn’t let it make him miss the season opener. On Oct. 5, he broke a bone in his left hand, forcing him to play much of the season with a cast. Despite these setbacks, Herzlich ranks third on the team with 54 tackles, he intercepted four passes, and he helped the Eagles rank first nationally in run defense.

‘€œMark’s story is truly amazing, ‘€œ BC coach Frank Spaziani said in a statement. ‘€œTo fight cancer and win, then to come back and play the way he has is one of the most remarkable accomplishments I’ve ever witnessed. He is truly deserving of this award.”

Irving was severely injured in a car accident on June 28, 2009, suffering a compound fracture of the tibia, a broken rib, a punctured lung and a separated shoulder. He is the second-leading tackler for an NC State defense that ranks third nationally in sacks and fourth in tackles for loss. He ranks fourth nationally in tackles for loss with 19 and has five quarterback sacks among his 85 total tackles. He set an NCAA FBS single-game record for most tackles for loss with eight against Wake Forest.

‘€œOne of the most rewarding things I’ve experienced as a coach has been seeing Nate Irving come back so strong and enjoy so much success,’€ said NC State coach Tom O’€™Brien.  ‘€œHe has been a tremendous leader for our team this year with his play on the field and his attitude off the field and is one of the reasons the 2010 team will always be a special one for me.’€

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The Three-Pointer: Reggie Jackson leads BC over Indiana

12.01.10 at 11:56 pm ET
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In a game that featured some tense moments down the stretch, Reggie Jackson scored 27 points in BC’€™s 88-76 win over Indiana on Wednesday night before 5,329 fans at Conte Forum. The Eagles (5-2) benefited from second-chance scoring and excellent team shooting to shut down a previously undefeated Indiana team in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup. The Eagles are 5-0 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and are the lone team in either conference with a perfect record in the series.

The Eagles never let the Hoosiers take the lead, holding off a second-half surge from Indiana. BC entered the second half with a 43-29 lead but had to fight for every point against a physical Indiana defense.

Jeremiah Rivers, son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers, played 20 minutes and scored two points for the Hoosiers.

Indiana pulled closer to BC with eight unanswered points to start the second half and a rejuvenated physical presence. Indiana’€™s Victor Oladipo had one of the game’€™s biggest highlights with a fast-break slam dunk with just over 11 minutes left. The Hoosiers crept within a point after guard Jordan Hulls made a jump shot to make the score 63-62 with 5:44 left.

The Eagles then went on a 22-8 run ‘€” started by a Paris 3-pointer ‘€” to secure the home victory. Indiana made 63 percent of its shots from the floor in the second half, but in the end the Hoosiers were unable to keep up with a BC offense that was consistent all night, shooting 50.9 percent from the floor.

‘€œPhenomenal. I’€™ll take that any night. With 50 percent I believe we could beat anybody in the nation,’€ Jackson said. ‘€œSo, I believe hard work paid off coming back from Orlando, finding out what works for us. And everybody had a conscious effort of getting to the gym and making sure to shoot the shots that we’€™re going to get in the game. And obviously we showed it today.’€

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Anthony Castonzo, Montel Harris, Luke Kuechly named All-ACC first team

11.30.10 at 11:46 am ET
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Three Boston College football players were named to the All-ACC first team as announced by the league on Monday. Senior offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo, junior running back Montel Harris and sophomore linebacker Luke Kuechly were selected in voting by the Atlantic Coast Conference Sports Media Association. Senior offensive guard Thomas Claiborne received honorable mention.

Castonzo has started every game since his freshman season ‘€” a school-record 53 consecutive starts. He also will be honored as a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete at next week’s awards dinner in New York City.

Harris, the only player named to the first team on all 61 ballots, topped the 100-yard mark in eight games this season. He suffered a knee injury in a victory over Virginia on Nov. 20 and missed Saturday’s game at Syracuse.

Kuechly leads the nation in tackles with 171 and has 10 or more tackles in 21 consecutive games, the longest streak in the country.

The rest of the All-ACC first-team offense includes WR Leonard Hankerson (Miami), WR Torrey Smith (Maryland), OT Chris Hairston (Clemson), OG Rodney Hudson (Florida State), OG Brandon Washington (Miami), C Sean Bedford (Georgia Tech), TE George Bryan (NC State), RB Anthony Allen (Georgia Tech), QB Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech), PK Chris Hazley (Virginia Tech) and SP Tony Logan (Maryland).

The first-team defense includes DE Da’€™Quan Bowers (Clemson), DE Brandon Jenkins (Florida State), DT Quinton Coples (North Carolina), DT Jarvis Jenkins (Clemson), LB Nate Irving (NC State), LB Alex Wujciak (Maryland), CB Jayron Hosley (Virginia Tech), CB Chase Minnifield (Virginia), S DeAndre McDaniel (Clemson), S Kenny Tate (Maryland), and P Matt Bosher (Miami).

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Luke Kuechly named to AFCA Coaches All-America team

11.29.10 at 12:00 pm ET
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Boston College sophomore linebacker Luke Kuechly was named to the AFCA Coaches All-America team that was announced Monday. Kuechly, who broke the school’s single-season tackle record in Saturday’s win over Syracuse, is the only underclassman on the AFCA’s defense, which includes three juniors and seven seniors. Kuechly had 10 tackles Saturday, extending the nation’s longest streak of games with 10 or more tackles to 21. He has 171 tackles this season, by far the most of any Division 1 player in the country.

Here is the compete list of honorees.

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How Gene DiFilippo is heating up Conte Forum for winter

11.29.10 at 11:01 am ET
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When Gene DeFilippo led Boston College from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Eagles athletic director had the vision of showcasing some of the best men’s basketball in country to Boston sports fans.

In addition, BC already had the distinction of having one of the finest college hockey programs in the land, a point proven with three NCAA titles since 2001.

Much of the success would not be possible without the right on-campus facility, and the Eagles have that in Conte Forum, which converts its basketball floor to Kelley Rink for hockey. DeFilippo knew with the right facilities in place he could offer Boston sports fan an alternative to the successful but more costly option of the Celtics and Bruins at TD Garden.

Just this past weekend, the school advertised a “Thanksgiving Weekend Sale” of men’s basketball and hockey packages, with tickets starting at $5 and women’s hoops with tickets starting at $2. On top of that, BC throws in free parking, no small consideration in Boston.

While there isn’t the electricity and produced entertainment to compare with the Celtics or the Bruins at TD Garden, there’s certainly more elbow room. DeFilippo realizes this. He also realizes that families wanting to take younger kids to sporting events and expose them to the campus is an subtle but effective recruiting tool as the school is always looking to recruit students down the road. That was one of DeFilippo’s main charges when he was hired in 1997.

He has since restructured the athletics program while keeping an eye on the competition ‘€” namely Boston University’s 6,300-seat Agganis Arena that opened in 2005 right down Commonwealth Avenue.

DeFilippo knew that initiating an overhaul of BC’s athletics facilities would be crucial. So, he oversaw a project that included new football practice facilities, lighting, scoreboards and other improvements at Shea Field, renovations to Conte Forum, including a new sound system, floor and video boards, two new soccer fields on the Newton campus, new Field Turf for Alumni Stadium, and an air-inflated bubble to cover the stadium turf to provide an indoor practice facility for all sports during the winter months.

DeFilippo was instrumental in raising money to build the privately funded $27 million, 72,000-square-foot Yawkey Athletics Center, which houses the football program, the Office of Learning Resources for Student-Athletes, and a large function area for general university use, freeing up critically needed space in Conte Forum for women’s athletics and other Olympic sports teams.

After football moved into the Yawkey Center, BC undertook a multi-million dollar renovation Conte Forum to provide additional locker room and office space for many of BC’s 31 varsity sports.

This winter, Conte Forum will host 17 men’s basketball games, 14 men’s hockey games, 14 women’s basketball contests and 14 women’s hockey games. That’s 59 sporting events from November through March.

Now, WEEI and ‘€” through New England Perks ‘€” are offering fans three different programs to get a taste of BC sports this winter as the Eagles athletic department picks up its marketing pace for the winter. Here are the special deals:

Watch Boston College men’s basketball take on Providence College! $20 ticket for $10!

This is your chance to be part of the 2010-11 BC men’s basketball season as new coach Steve Donahue and his players hope for some madness in March. Get your tickets for only $10 as the Eagles take on Providence College on Dec. 8. Bring your family and friends to see the Eagles take on ACC and Big East rivals. Buy your $10 tickets now and bring them to the BC ticket office at Conte Forum before or on the day of the game. Your ticket will be instantly delivered to your e-mail; just print and go!

Catch some hockey action with Boston College! $20 ticket for just $10!

Get your BC men’s hockey tickets against Providence College on Jan. 7, 2011. Legendary coach Jerry York and the defending NCAA national champions will make another run to bring another championship to Boston. Witness the Eagles take on the rest of Hockey East during this exciting hockey season.

This is your chance to bring your family and friends to see the Eagles build their road to glory for only $10! Purchase your tickets and redeem them at Conte Forum’s ticket office before or on the day of the game.

Get a $50 certificate to Roster for just $25! Great for sports fans!

Roster, the Boston area’€™s most unique fan shop, carries the only the latest in men’€™s and women’€™s sports lifestyle apparel from the best names in the industry: 47 Brand, Mitchell & Ness, Old Time Hockey, Touch by Alyssa Milano and more. Roster loves the Boston sports teams, but it’€™s all about fashion, fabric and fit when showing team pride. Visit Roster at Natick Collection, Faneuil Hall and Legacy Place in Dedham to upgrade your game gear to the next level.

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Joe Trapani fuels second-half rout of Cal

11.28.10 at 3:42 pm ET
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Senior forward Joe Trapani scored all 12 of his points in the second half as Boston College pulled away for a 68-46 victory over California on Sunday afternoon in the third-place game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.

Trapani also had eight rebounds to lead BC in that category. Teammate Biko Paris contributed 12 points (5-of-7 shooting) and four assists. Reggie Jackson scored 11 points.

Jorge Gutierrez scored 12 points for Cal (3-2).

BC led by four points at the half, 35-31. The Eagles opened the second period on a 14-2 run, with nine of the points coming on a trio of 3-pointers by Danny Rubin, and cruised home from there. Cal shot just 5-for-24 in the final 20 minutes.

Wisconsin and Notre Dame meet in the tournament’s championship game at 7 p.m.

BC returns to action on Wednesday night, hosting undefeated Indiana in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

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Second-half drought costs BC in loss to Wisconsin

11.26.10 at 2:17 pm ET
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Junior guard Reggie Jackson scored 18 points, but Boston College could not overcome an 18-0 run by Wisconsin midway through the second half and fell to the Badgers, 65-55, in the semifinals of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.

Jon Leuer had 18 points and seven rebounds for Wisconsin (4-1), which advances to Sunday night’s championship game vs. the winner of Friday’s game between Notre Dame and California. The Eagles (3-2) will play a consolation game Sunday.

Jackson hit 4-of-5 shots in the first half, but he went cold in the second, missing his first 11 shots and finishing the period at 2-for-16. Joe Trapani was the only other Eagle in double figures, netting 11 points.

BC led by as much as nine points in the first half and six in the second, but the Eagles couldn’t keep the Badgers at bay. The teams were tied at 36 when Wisconsin embarked on an 18-0 run to pull away. Trapani finally ended BC’s drought when he hit a mid-range jumper to make the score 54-38 with just over seven minutes remaining. Down 22 points, BC made a late 15-0 run to get within seven points, 60-53, but the Eagles ran out of time.

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Reggie Jackson lifts BC over Texas A&M

11.25.10 at 2:36 pm ET
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Junior Reggie Jackson scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting and hit two clutch baskets down the stretch as Boston College survived Texas A&M, 67-65, in the opening game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.

The Eagles’ win was not secure until the final buzzer sounded and a reverse layup from Texas A&M guard Dash Harris hung on the rim before falling out.

“We were thinking, ‘Please, just go out. Rattle out,’ ” Jackson told in a phone interview after the win.

BC (3-1) advances to Friday’s semifinal (noon) to play the winner of Thursday’s second game between Wisconsin and Manhattan.

The Eagles never trailed, but Texas A&M (3-1) rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to tie the game on a few occasions. Jackson put BC ahead for good with 2:08 remaining when he caught Biko Paris’ inbounds pass in the air and laid it in in one motion for a 64-62 lead.

With 56 seconds left, Jackson milked the clock down and then hit a fallaway 18-footer just before the shot clock expired and BC led by four points, 66-62. Jackson said he enjoys being in that situation, and the trust and support from his teammates gives him confidence to make the play. “I definitely look forward to it,” he said. “I just try to rise to the occasion. ‘€¦ I could have made it or missed it, but my teammates are still going to love me no matter what. We’re still going to be a family.”

At the other end of the floor, B.J. Holmes hit a 3-pointer from the corner and was fouled. He missed the free throw with 41 seconds left, keeping BC in front by a point, 66-65.

BC worked the clock down and got an open look for Joe Trapani from behind the arc. Trapani (14 points) missed a 3-pointer, but he tracked down his rebound with eight seconds left. Instead of dribbling the ball out and waiting to get fouled, Trapani saw an opening and decided to drive to the basket. He missed the layup, but Corey Raji got the rebound and was fouled trying to convert it. With 4.7 seconds left, Raji hit the second of two free throws for the final scoring.

Following a timeout from each team, Harris took the inbounds pass and drove the length of the floor right through the BC defense, but his reverse layup had a little too much spin and fell off.

Forward Khris Middleton led the Aggies with 19 points and seven rebounds.

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Luke Kuechly named finalist for Butkus Award

11.24.10 at 11:05 am ET
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Boston College sophomore linebacker Luke Kuechly is one of five finalists for the Butkus Award honoring college football’€™s top linebacker. Kuechly joins UCLA’s Akeem Ayers, North Carolina’s Bruce Carter, Georgia’s Justin Houston and Texas A&M’s Von Miller on the list of finalists.

Finalists were selected by a panel of 51 coaches, scouts and journalists supervised by Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly. The winner will be announced in early December.

Kuechly leads the nation in tackles (14.64 per game) and is just five stops away from breaking Tom McManus‘ school single-season record set in 1991. Kuechly also leads the country in solo tackles (93). He has registered 10 or more tackles for 20 consecutive games, the longest active streak in college football, and is the only player in the country with a pair of 20-tackle games this season (20 vs. NC State and 21 vs. Duke).

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