BOSTON (AP) -- Starting now, Boston College is going to have to
prove it deserves its lofty ranking.
The eighth-ranked Eagles beat Sacred Heart 77-66 on Saturday
night to remain unbeaten through the easiest part of their
schedule. Next up for BC (6-0): No. 13 Michigan State in the Jimmy
V. Classic at Madison Square Garden."No disrespect to Sacred Heart. They came up here and played
hard," BC forward Jared Dudley said. "But you don't circle Sacred
Heart on your schedule."Dudley scored a season-low 11 points but managed to surpass
1,000 in his career, adding 12 rebounds against the Pioneers (1-5).
Craig Smith scored 20 with 10 rebounds, and John Oates scored all
15 of his points in the first half to top his career high for the
Eagles.BC has played an Ivy League team, a Division II team and now
Sacred Heart, which has never beaten a ranked team in 10 tries
since moving up to Division I in 1999. And the Eagles haven't been
all that impressive at times, snapping out of early funks to beat
Shawnee State and Drake."We'll find out on Tuesday, but up until this point we have"
played to the level of the opponent, BC coach Al Skinner said.
"This team obviously has the capability. But you don't want to put
yourself in a hole. You want to develop some consistency."Michigan State went to the Final Four last year and opened this
season at No. 4 before losing twice in Hawaii. After the Spartans,
BC will play its first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference game, against
Maryland."I think they want to do well in this part of the schedule,"
Sacred Heart coach Dave Bike said, acknowledging that BC could get
even stronger if Sean Williams returns to school next semester.
"I'm sure they're anxious to get their full squad for the next
part."Kibwe Trim had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Sacred Heart before
fouling out with 6:35 left in the game. Tavio Hobson scored 14
points and Luke Granato had 12 for the Pioneers, who lost their
fourth consecutive game and fell to 0-10 against ranked teams since
moving up to Division I in 1999.Dudley entered the game needing three points to become the 33rd
player in BC history with 1,000, and he took his time getting it.
But he went just 1-for-9 from the floor, and it wasn't until he hit
a pair of free throws 3:27 into the second half that he hit the
mark and surpassed it.Dudley was the Most Valuable Player of the Las Vegas Holiday
Invitational after sparking a pair of second-half comebacks, one of
them in the final against Oklahoma State.Boston College led Sacred Heart 16-6 just six minutes into the
game, but the Pioneers closed to within three, 27-24, with 7:27
left in the first half. BC responded with a 12-4 run to put the
lead back into double-digits and never led be fewer than eight
points.The Eagles led 65-47 with 8:53 left after a 10 point run that
was capped by Marquez Haynes' breakaway layup.BC took a season-high 25 3-point attempts, making eight.