BOSTON (AP)— Jim Christian's perfect opening night involves Boston College trailing by 13 points in the second half, then coming back to win.
"I couldn't have written a script any better," the BC coach said on Tuesday night after the Eagles came back to beat Milwaukee 73-53. "Sorry we're not perfect yet. It's November 6."
Ky Bowman scored 19 points with eight rebounds, freshman Wynston Tabbs scored 16 in his debut and Boston College ran off 14 straight points after the Panthers made the first basket of the second half.
Sophomore Steffon Mitchell had 14 rebounds for the Eagles, one off his career high. After shooting 28.6 percent in the first half — including 1 of 10 from 3-point range — BC made half its shots in the second.
"All you want from these early games is to get experience for the younger guys. The older guys showed maturity," Christian said. "We grew tonight, and we've just got to build on it."
Darius Roy scored 15 points and Amir Allen grabbed 11 rebounds for Milwaukee, which led 40-27 early in the second. The Panthers made two of their next 26 shots over the next 14 minutes, turning a 13-point lead into a 59-48 deficit.
In all, Milwaukee made 5 of 38 shots in the second.
"Thirteen percent," coach Pat Baldwin said. "The ball just wouldn't go in."
Bowman scored 15 in the second half after making 1 of 5 shots in the first. Christian said he was pleased with the way the preseason first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection responded.
"That's a maturity that comes with guys that are back. When we got down we didn't panic," Christian said, adding that Bowman's poise helped the younger players settle down, too.
"He's teaching the young guys during the game," the coach said. "That's what you want from your best player."
Milwaukee scored 11 straight points after the teams were tied 6-all and led by double digits for most of the first half. But after Wright made a 3-pointer to open the second and give the Panthers a 13-point lead, BC outscored them 46-13.
"(I'm) encouraged by what our guys did in the first half," Baldwin said. "But they know we've got to play 40 minutes."
It was the season opener for both teams, though the Panthers beat Concordia (Wisconsin) in an exhibition on Wednesday.
Milwaukee: After the top three scorers all left the team that went to the Horizon league semifinals, the Panthers are looking for reliable scoring replacements.
Boston College: The Eagles had more trouble than they should have with a team that finished fifth in the Horizon League last season. Christian can hope it was just a one-half lapse.
Milwaukee: Hosts North Dakota on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Boston College: Hosts St. Francis (New York) on Sunday at 1 p.m.
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