akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

BOSTON — It took the disappointment of just missing out on the conference tournament semifinals for one, and just missing out on the NCAA Tournament for the other, to have one of the oldest basketball rivalries in the Northeast renewed once more — and in one of the most prestigious events on the college basketball calendar no less.

In the battle of two charter members of the Big East Conference, Boston College used 17 points from Claudell Harris Jr. in going on the road to defeat Providence 62-57 in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament. Harris nailed a tie-breaking three-pointer with 52.7 seconds remaining to give the Eagles a 60-57 lead, then followed up with a steal on the next possession that led to a Devin McGlockton layup on an offensive rebound to close out the scoring.

The Eagles arrived to the game after coming a whisker away from making it to the ACC Tournament semifinals, losing to Virginia in overtime after winning its first two games of the tournament in Charlotte. Quinten Post, who scored 30 in the first-round win over Miami and 23 in the loss to the Cavaliers, added 12 points and four rebounds against the Friars.

Providence held out hope that it had done enough to secure an NCAA Tournament invite after its Big East Tournament semifinal loss to Marquette (and after it had defeated Creighton in the quarterfinals), but were left out after the field of 68 was revealed on Selection Sunday two days ago. Devin Carter, the team’s leading scorer (19.4) and rebounder (8.6), did not play against the Eagles after suffering an ankle injury during the second half of the semifinal loss to Marquette last Friday.

Jayden Pierre led the Friars with 21 points, including making 5-of-9 on three-point attempts, but also committed seven of the team’s 11 turnovers on the evening.

The Eagles and Friars met for the 133rd time, with Providence now tied with Holy Cross as Boston College’s most frequent opponent in school history. The teams met as members of the Big East on 56 occasions before Boston College joined the ACC after the 2005 season.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Sunday afternoon’s game, with all photos taken by Boston-area photographer Erica Denhoff. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 28 pictures in total.

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Tags : Atlantic Coast ConferenceBig East ConferenceBoston College EaglesNational Invitation TournamentProvidence Friars

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