NEW YORK (AP) -- Boston College coach Al Skinner isn't getting
caught up in his Eagles being one of three remaining unbeaten teams
in Division I.
"We're just trying to have success in our league. That's what
counts with us," Skinner said after No. 9 Boston College beat St. John's 79-73 on Saturday night. "The 11-0 non-league mark is
already in the books and for that to pay dividends we have to
continue what we're doing."
Jared Dudley scored 19 points to lead Boston College's balanced
offense to a win that extended the best start in school history and
left the Eagles (16-0, 5-0 Big East) three shy of the school-best
winning streak set by the 1968-69 team. It was the ninth straight
road win for Boston College, which is in its final season in the
Big East before moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Top-ranked Illinois and No. 4 Duke are the other unbeatens as
No. 2 Kansas lost earlier Saturday to Villanova.
Six of the seven players who saw action for Boston College
scored at least nine points. Jermaine Watson, one of the best sixth
men in college basketball, had 16 points, six above his average.
Watson went 7-for-8 from the field, grabbed four rebounds and
three of the Eagles' 12 steals.
"It was his kind of game, a little 1-on-1, a lot of up and
down," Skinner said. "He took it as a challenge. Those are the
kind of challenges he likes and he was obviously very effective."
Darryl Hill, the Big East's leading scorer with a 20.9 average,
had 21 points for the Red Storm (7-8, 1-4), who fell to 2-2 against
ranked teams this season. They were coming off a 65-62 victory over
No. 21 Pittsburgh and also beat then-No. 17 North Carolina State.
Hill didn't start for the first time this season. First-year
coach Norm Roberts sat him for the opening 3:34 for being 3 minutes
late to a team meeting.
"I deserved it. I was late," the sophomore guard said. "I
have to set a better example as a captain."
With the crowd at Carnesecca Arena held to 2,314 because of the
snowstorm blanketing the Northeast, St. John's jumped to an 11-2
lead. Boston College took the lead for good at 28-26 on a 3-pointer
by 7-footer Nate Doornekamp with 4:43 left in the first half.
The Red Storm used some solid shooting to stay close but the
Eagles used an 8-2 run to take a 53-46 lead with 12:57 to go.
Watson's layup with 8:03 left gave Boston College its first
double-digit lead, 60-50, and the biggest it got was 67-54 on two
free throws by Sean Williams with 6:15 to go.
The Red Storm shot 54 percent in the first half but struggled to
shoot 44 percent in the second half against the Eagles' matchup
"We got good shots, we didn't make them," Roberts said. "We
struggled, obviously. We're not a good outside shooting team."
"They rebounded well and beat us to loose balls, especially
early," Skinner said of the Red Storm, who are coming off a 6-21
season, the worst in school history. "We were able to get some
turnovers that led to easy baskets."
Boston College was the first Top Ten team to play in Carnesecca
Arena, which used to be called Alumni Hall, since No. 7 Louisville
beat No. 9 St. John's there 76-71 on Feb. 3, 1980.
Many of the Boston College players had said during the week they
were upset they had to play in the on-campus arena rather than
Madison Square Garden, the Red Storm's other home court.
"Our guys were disappointed but not me," Skinner said. "Maybe
I'm old school but I kind of enjoyed it here."