Boston College ends streak against Harvard, 64-57 in OT
BOSTON (AP) Olivier Hanlan helped Boston College finally beat Harvard by making a few tough shots look relatively easy in pressure moments.
Hanlan made a pair of clutch baskets in overtime and finished with 17 points, Patrick Heckmann hit a key 3-pointer and the Eagles snapped a six-game losing streak against its local rival Harvard with a 64-57 victory on Wednesday night.
”He’s got confidence at that time of the game, and he had to play with a lot of confidence,” Boston College coach Jim Christian said of Hanlan. ”This is a game that guys that wanted to make plays had to make them.”
Early in the OT, Hanlan had two one-handed flips, the first came in the lane and the second near the right baseline, pushing BC ahead 53-49.
”I work on it a lot – a little quick floater and quick finish,” he said. ”It’s a pretty difficult shot, but I work on it a lot. In the overtime, I knew I needed to come out with a punch and be aggressive.”
After Hanlan’s scoring, Heckmann’s 3 from the left corner made it 59-54 with 45 seconds left.
”I think at the end, he and (Olivier) wanted the ball most,” Christian said. ”You could see it.”
Dennis Clifford scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Eagles (8-7), who halted a three-game losing skid. Heckmann had 14 points, and Aaron Brown added 12 and grabbed seven rebounds.
Wesley Saunders had 15 points and Corbin Miller 14 for the Crimson (10-4), who had a three-game winning streak halted.
”Hanlan’s a tremendous player,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. ”He’s crafty with the ball and explosive getting to the basket. He puts a lot of pressure on your defense. He’s a dynamic offensive player and always has been.”
BC’s losing streak against Harvard started with an 82-70 loss on Jan. 7, 2009, three days after the Eagles went into Chapel Hill and upset top ranked North Carolina. It was Harvard’s first-ever win over a ranked team – behind 27 points from former Crimson star Jeremy Lin – with the Eagles entering that game ranked No. 17.
Steve Moundou-Missi’s off balance jumper in the lane broke a 45-all tie with 2:26 to play, but Brown’s layup tied it with 18.9 seconds left.
Saunders then missed a heavily contested jumper in the lane and Harvard was called for a loose ball foul with 0.1 seconds left. The Eagles inbounded the ball, sending it to OT.
Harvard trailed 39-31 midway through the second half before Miller scored eight unanswered points, six coming on consecutive 3s just over a minute apart. The Crimson then took their first lead of the game when Evan Cummins had a steal and breakaway layup.
The Eagles led by 11 at halftime, but the Crimson started the second half with a quick 5-0 spree, closing it to 30-24.
Boston College, which shot well at the start of the game, didn’t get its first basket of the second half until nearly the four-minute mark.
After slicing BC’s lead to six, Harvard went over four minutes without a point before Miller ended the drought with a 3-pointer from the left corner.
The teams combined for only nine points during a 6 1/2 minute stretch early into the second half.
Harvard: The Crimson faced one other Atlantic Coast Conference team this season, falling to then-No. 6 Virginia 76-27 on Dec. 21. … Kenyatta Smith was helped off the court with what appeared to be a leg injury early in the second half.
Boston College: Aaron Brown had as many points as Harvard did in the opening 12 minutes with 10. … Olivier Hanlan, the team’s leading scorer, came in averaging 16.8 in his last five games.
BC held Harvard to 31.7 percent from the floor (19 of 60). ”Our only chance is to guard, that’s our only chance,” Christian said. ”I think that they’re starting to buy into that.”
Coach Tommy Amaker knows BC has a tough matchup in its next game – against No. 2 Virginia. ”They’ve been as good as any team in the country,” he said.
Harvard: At Bryant next Tuesday.
Boston College: Hosts unbeaten Virginia on Saturday.