When the UMass Lowell River Hawks made the jump from Division II to Division I ahead of the 2013-14 seasons, many assumed it would take years for them to upset the Massachusetts college basketball hierarchy. On Sunday night, however, Pat Duquette's team went into Conte Forum and stunned the Boston College Eagles, 68-66, behind a second-half barrage led by Isaac White.
White scored 17 of his 20 points down the stretch and helped UMass Lowell (4-4) overcome a 10-point deficit against an BC (3-5) team struggling to find its identity under second-year head coach Jim Christian. The freshman point guard finished 5-of-7 from behind the arc while his backcourt partner, Jahad Thomas, did everything else with 7 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists.
This is a signature win for the UMass Lowell program, and it carries a little bit extra weight for Duquette who spent 13 years on the BC bench as an assistant under Al Skinner, per the Boston Globe.
"I definitely think it's our biggest win," said Duquette, a former BC assistant. "Our biggest opponent, they're an ACC team, they're right down the road - everyone knows who BC is. Little extra special when you beat a school like that."
Boston College was without leading scorer Eli Carter, who sprained an ankle during warmups, and leading rebounder Dennis Clifford, who came down with food poisoning Sunday morning. Even without those key cogs, the Eagles led 56-46 with 7:39 to play before being overtaken by a White three-pointer with 1:19 to play.
UMass Lowell now trails Boston College 2-1 in their all-time series, a local clash that just got a little bit more interesting moving forward.