Similar to the Eagles last time out, Boston College spent more time in this game trailing than with the lead. But a 14-4 run BC erased a 10 point second half deficit en route to a 74-72 victory for the Eagles. The victory was the third straight and further shows that the Eagles seem to be playing their best basketball of the season heading into the conference tournament.
On senior day, Andrew Van Nest got the start over Eddie Odio. It seemed as though that decision would not backfire on Coach Donahue as Van Nest contributed early and had seven points in the first half. However, at halftime Odio was scoreless and the Eagles were trailing by five. Even though Donahue has shuffled up the starting lineup countless times this season, the last two victories featured the same starting lineup in consecutive games and this decision certainly would have been second guessed had BC not come away with a victory. Questioning whether Van Nest deserved the ceremonial start would have been centered around the fact that he is a graduate student transfer from Harvard and only played one season at the Heights.
There were several runs by BC with a single scorer. In the first half Van Nest scored five straight of BC's points, while in the second half Odio had eight straight to help BC erase Georgia Tech's 10 point lead. Joe Rahon had seven straight which gave BC a two point lead after trailing by 5 with 3:42 to play. While Olivier Hanlan's 9 point run against Clemson seemed unusual, these types of individual spurts on offense will soon be expected of this team if this keeps up.
With 0:29 to play, Olivier Hanlan came up with a steal and a layup to put the Eagles up seven and the game was seemingly over. However a Marcus Georges-Hunt 3 pointer and a Ryan Anderson turnover two possessions later made the game very exciting. With 2.6 seconds to play, Patrick Heckmann had two free throws to ensure that a last second heave could only force OT for the Yellow Jackets but he could only convert 1 of 2 on a day the Eagles only shot 56 percent from the line on 25 attempts. Fortunately, Georgia Tech failed to even get up a shot so Eagles fans everywhere were able to let out a sigh of relief.
Checking the box score, the Eagles shot well from everywhere except the charity stripe. BC converted over 55 percent from the floor and 43 percent from three. Boston College also had a balanced scoring effort. Four players finished in double figures lead by Joe Rahon with 15, followed by Olivier Hanlan with 14, Ryan Anderson 13 and Eddie Odio 11.
With the victory, the Eagles clinched the 8th seed in next week's ACC Tournament. With Clemson playing Miami right now, the #9 seed we will be playing is yet to be determined but it will be either Clemson or Georgia TEch at noon on Thursday. Boston College will be wearing their home jerseys.
Getting a seventh win and earning the 8th seed in the conference tournament certainly is a sign of improvement over last year but most fans will be very disappointed if the Eagles don't win Thursday. The Eagles still have two chances to qualify for the postseason. If the Eagles make the semifinals of the ACC Tournament, BC will be eligible for a postseason tournament. Of course, if they win the ACC Tournament, which no team has ever done which started play on Thursday, they will automatically be entered in the NCAA Tournament.