Boston College got off to a good start against NC State opening up at 11-2 behind 2 Dimitri Batten 3-pointers. NC State called a timeout and managed to go on a run of their own to cut the 9 point BC lead to 2. At this point it seemed like we were about to witness another BC basketball game where fans were given some hope but it would eventually lead to the opposing team taking over later in the game. Surprisingly though, that did not happen at all. BC would never let the game get that close again and would go on to winning a game in which they never trailed.
Aaron Brown finished the first half converting an and-1 play to give the Eagles a 17 point lead at the half. This exciting play as time was expiring gave BC players and fans confidence heading into the intermission which they then carried into the second half and brought to a win. The well-played first half was highlighted by Patrick Heckmann's 7 assists.
There are certain things that need to happen for Boston College to pull an upset in ACC play from here on out. Fortunately those things came true today and BC got their first home ACC win of the season! Here's how they did it.
Shoot over 40% from 3: check. BC shot 7-15 for 46.7% from beyond the arc with Hanlan and Batten hitting 5 of 7 combined.
Get at least 6 players involved in the scoring: check. All starters and Garland Owens scored at least 4 points in the first half and all starters finished in double digits for the first time this season. Dennis Clifford had 10, Dmitri Batten had 11, Aaron Brown had 13, Patrick Heckmann had 14, and Olivier Hanlan had 24.
The opponent cannot play their best: check. After upsetting UNC at the Dean Dome in their last outing by holding UNC to their fewest points scored ever in that building, NC State did not play with anywhere near the same defensive intensity against BC. Mark Gottfried was frustrated with his team's effort and substituted the entire lineup 3 minutes into the second half in order to get some more effort out of his team.
Olivier Hanlan had another big game with 24 points and finished with a game high 8 rebounds. Had it been a close game, the ball probably would have been in his hands more down the stretch and he would have gotten into the 30s again. However, his 24 was plenty to get BC the win and Hanlan was able to draw 6 fouls on NC State players in the first half alone.
This win won't mean much for ACC Tournament seeding as BC is still likely to wear an away jersey during the Tuesday session. BC has two more games left, but can change that as they will play two opponents also likely to be playing Tuesday: Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Finishing the season with 4 ACC wins is still very possible but that would not get BC out of playing Tuesday.
Next up: @Virginia Tech Monday at 9:00pm.