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BC basketball wins season opener

Eli Carter (3) drove the Eagle’ offensive effort Saturday againt St. Francis (N.Y.) with 23 points.Scott Eisen for The Boston Globe/Globe Freelance
BC 75
St. Francis 49

Eli Carter wanted to make a good first impression.

Carter, a graduate transfer from the University of Florida, tossed and turned all night as he tried to get some rest before making his debut Saturday in Boston College's season opener against St. Francis Brooklyn.

"It's funny, because it's my third first game with three different schools,'' said Carter, a native of Paterson, N.J., who began his collegiate career at Rutgers before transferring to Florida in the aftermath of the dismissal of Scarlet Knights coach Mike Rice.

"I really couldn't sleep last night. I got up early this morning, about an hour early, came in, and got some shots up,'' Carter said. "I was just ready to go.''

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Carter was one of eight new faces (including seven true freshmen) on BC's roster Saturday. The guard led the Eagles to a 75-49 victory over their visitors from the Northeast Conference, scoring a game-high 23 points on 10-for-19 shooting, 2 of 4 from the 3-point arc, before a Conte Forum crowd of 3,074.

Carter had 15 points in the first half, and set the tone by scoring the first basket on a silky-smooth jumper from the top of the key, to help BC control a whopping 41-16 lead at intermission.

"On our roster, we have two fifth-year guys, [junior] Garland Owens, and eight guys who just played their first Division 1 game,'' said BC coach Jim Christian. "So he's invaluable in a lot of different ways. I thought he played the game right today.

"[Carter] made a lot of good decisions with the ball, he didn't force things, he was trying to get the ball to guys when they were open, he let the game come to him a little bit, so I was really happy for him.''

Freshman Jerome Robinson, a wiry 6-foot-5-inch guard from Raleigh, N.C., was the only other Eagle to score in double figures with 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting. He went 5 of 5 from the foul line, and also had 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals.

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"He's a really good player,'' Christian said. "The one thing he's done as a freshman that's not really a surprise, but a delight, is that he picks things up very quickly. You can make a comment to him during the game and he fixes it right away or he'll already know it.

"He might be a little bit ahead of the other freshmen because of that.''

Robinson and A.J. Turner were the only freshmen to start. They seemed to establish an immediate rapport when Turner, a 6-7 forward from Mount Clemens, Mich., made a backcourt steal, went behind his back, then looked up court, and fired a diagonal outlet pass to Robinson, whose foul-inducing dunk gave the Eagles an 18-3 lead with 8:42 remaining in the first half.

It was an exciting glimpse into BC's hardcourt future.

"It was the play of the game,'' Christian said.

It propelled BC to its largest victory since a 79-49 romp over St. Francis Brooklyn on Nov. 12, 2010.

"We haven't had great experiences here,'' said Terriers sixth-year coach Glenn Braica, whose team missed its first 14 shots, hit 17 of 61 field goal attempts overall, and had only one player score in double figures (freshman guard Dagur Jonsson of Iceland with 12 points).

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"My first year, we were down, I think, 28-2,'' Braica recalled. "It was the same deal [as Saturday]. We couldn't make a shot, the kids were tight, it was my first game, and they were trying like hell. They just couldn't make a shot, and the same thing happened tonight.''

BC received several contributions from its newcomers off the bench that didn't go unnoticed by Christian.

"I'm happy for all the guys, a lot of guys got a chance to get into the game,'' said Christian, whose team shot 46.7 percent from the field (28 for 60), outrebounded the opposition, 49-39, and led by as many as 28. "As I told our guys after the game, as our guys coming off the bench develop, our team will get better.

"I think it's already starting to happen.''


Michael Vega can be reached at vega@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MBVEGA.