- Associated Press - Friday, November 10, 2017

BOSTON (AP) - There was no magic speech at halftime. Boston College coach Jim Christian just wanted to see his talented backcourt take the ball to the basket more.

They listened.

Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman each scored 18 points to lead Boston College to an 85-65 victory over Maine on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.

“There were no adjustments,” Christian said. “We had to just focus on the possession better. We had to attack the rim.”

Deontae Hawkins, a graduate transfer from Illinois State, had 15 rebounds with 13 points, Johncarlos Reyes scored 12 and Robinson added four assists and four rebounds for the Eagles.

Ilija Stojiljkovic led Maine with 14 points. The Black Bears shot 35.6 percent.

Bowman and Robinson, respected as strong backcourt in the Atlantic Coast Conference, started driving to the basket a lot easier in the second half. They also made a few more shots after going a combined 5-for-14 in the opening half.

“It was more of ‘Just keep playing like I know how,’” said Bowman, playing his first game since a knee injury in the ACC tourney last season.

Robinson, who went 3-for-9 from the floor in the first half, hit all three of his shots in the final 20 minutes. Bowman nailed 4 of 8 in the second half.

Maine committed just 11 turnovers, but couldn’t overcome its poor shooting.

“That was a point of emphasis this whole week, taking care of the ball,” Black Bears guard Aaron Calixte said. “In the two exhibition games we kind of turned the ball over a lot.”

The Eagles led by seven at halftime and opened a 42-30 lead on Bowman’s 3 from the right wing 1:50 into the second half.

Boston College maintained a comfortable lead over the next three minutes before taking complete control with a 9-0 run that pushed their advantage to 55-39 on Steffon Mitchell’s free throw with 13 minutes to play.

Robinson had a 3-point play after he was fouled on a drive and made a slashing drive with a finger-roll for a basket during the spree.

The Eagles then scored eight of the next 10 points.

BIG PICTURE

Maine: The Black Bears have eight new players on their roster - five of them transfers. They hope that new infusion of talent and experience will turn around a team that went 7-25 overall last season and won only three of 16 games in the America East. They are also very diversified, with eight players that reside internationally from seven different countries.

Boston College: Likely a key season for the future of Christian, who began his fourth season. The Eagles went 2-16 in the ACC last season following a winless conference record the previous one.

BEST STAT

Christian was pleased by his team’s 51 rebounds, but most excited with just eight turnovers.

“That’s the number I’m looking at - the eight turnovers was huge,” he said. “Those are the numbers that we’ve been stressing.”

HURTING

Robinson, named on the all-ACC preseason second team, came down awkwardly in the opening two minutes of the game and appeared to be favoring his right leg. During a timeout early in the second half, trainers were trying to stretch out cramps in his right calf.

Hawkins was having his left thigh worked on at the same timeout.

POSITIVE NUMBERS

The Eagles improved to 66-19 in season openers, though many have come against inferior opponents. They also raised their record to 60-15 against the America East.

UP NEXT

Maine: At Texas Tech on Tuesday.

Boston College: Hosts South Carolina State on Sunday.

___

More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org

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