Olivier Hanlan has been red-hot in the month of February, averaging 28 points per game. But, despite Hanlan efforts, the Boston College Eagles (10-18) had lost nine straight going into Saturday. Not wanting to lose 10 in a row, the last-ranked Eagles soared past ACC rival NC State 79-63.
The Eagles picked up their only second conference win in 16 games and are a sub-par 10-18 on the season. NC State (17-12, 8-8) saw their tournament hopes dwindle as they were projected to be on the bubble in most bracket predictions. The Wolfpack’s Kyle Washington came off the bench and scored a team-high 14, but BC found the basket more often and with a higher percentage than NC State, who only shot 33 percent from the field.
Hanlan again carried the maroon and gold, scoring a game-high 24 points and grabbing eight rebounds. He now ranks 13th all-time at Boston College in scoring, with 1648 career points, passing Howard Eisley and John Bagley. In their skid, the Eagles had relied heavily on the junior guard for the bulk of their offense, but Saturday all five starters chipped in, with each scoring double digit points. The Eagles were unstoppable from all over the floor, shooting 57 percent on the day, including making seven of 15 from behind the arc.
The Wolfpack, who were coming off an upset victory over the University of North Carolina, found themselves down early at Chestnut Hill, as the Eagles started hitting three of four threes on way to a 11-2 run three minutes in. By halftime the Eagles had extended their lead to 17 and did not look back in the second half, getting out to a 23-point lead twice.
Most Boston College students were out on spring break, as was the cheerleaders and band, leaving Conte Forum only half-full.
Boston College’s next game is Monday at Virginia Tech (10-18, 2-13) with tip-off at 9:00 PM. It will be a battle of the ACC basement dwellers, as the Hokies and Eagles are the bottom two teams in the conference.