Boston College coach Jim Christian could tell his team was lethargic on the defensive end in the first half.
He was especially happy they realized it, too, and played a lot better in the second half.
Ky Bowman scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Boston College’s balanced scoring that carried the Eagles to an 84-65 victory over Central Connecticut at Conte Forum on Sunday afternoon.
The Eagles opened the second half by scoring 21 of the initial 25 points to take charge. Jerome Robinson triggered a 9-0 spurt with a 3-point play.
After that, BC had three consecutive fast-break baskets and drove into the lane easily on a handful of other trips for layups.
‘‘It was defense. What led to that was stops. In the first half, we let them shoot 50-plus percent,’’ Christian said. ‘‘I didn’t think we challenged shooters, I didn’t think we guarded the ball very well. It was good to see our team respond. I’m always worried about the response.’’
Jordan Chatman added 15 points, Robinson had 13 with four assists, Steffon Mitchell scored 13 points, and Nik Popovic 11 points for the Eagles (9-3). BC won its fourth straight, a spurt highlighted by the Eagles’ 89-84 upset of top-ranked Duke on Dec. 9.
Tyler Kohl paced Central Connecticut with 17 points and Mustafa Jones had 15.
The Blue Devils (5-6) lost their third straight after a five-game winning streak, their best in six years. In the opening half, they shot 54.5 percent (12 of 22) and went 5 for 8 on 3-point attempts.
‘‘They tightened it up,’’ Central Connecticut coach Donyell Marshall said. ‘‘We told them at halftime: ‘They’re an ACC school. They just beat Duke.’ We said they were going to come out. We said the first eight minutes of the second half was going to be the key.’’
Robinson nailed a 3-pointer with two seconds left, giving BC a 43-36 edge at intermission of a lackluster opening half that closed with numerous fouls and sluggish play.
In the second half, the Eagles got out on the break and made it look easy.
Bowman’s basket gave the Eagles a 64-40 lead with just under 13 minutes to play.
‘‘It’s a lot of fun,’’ Mitchell said of running the floor for transition baskets. ‘‘We’re a pretty good team when we get out on the fast break.’’