Jim Christian wins debut as BC coach, 58-50
BOSTON (AP) Aaron Brown scored 21 points, Olivier Hanlan had 17 and Boston College coach Jim Christian won his debut in the Eagles’ 58-50 victory over New Hampshire on Friday night.
Christian was hired away from Ohio University, where he spent the last two seasons. He was previously a head coach Texas Christian for four seasons and six at Kent State.
Will Magarity added eight points for the Eagles, who fired Steve Donahue after four seasons.
Following an 8-24 record, Donahue was let go, ending his era that failed to land enough quality recruits or any NCAA tournament berths.
Tanner Leissner had 17 points and six rebounds to pace the Wildcats, who also played their season opener.
Hanlan scored seven of his points as Boston College broke the game open early in the second half with a 16-8 spurt that turned a 10-point halftime edge to 44-26 with Brown’s conventional three-point play with 11 1/2 minutes left.
The Eagles posted their 13th straight win against New Hampshire and lead the all-time series, 25-6.
In the first half, the Eagles overcame a sloppy start and went on a 16-0 run over a 7-minute stretch late en route to a 28-18 lead at intermission. Boston College didn’t get its first basket until 7 1/2 minutes into the game.
Boston College had a pair of starters from last season transfer, but was able to keep Hanlan, who averaged 18.5 points per game last season and is the Atlantic Coast Conference’s highest returning scorer
New Hampshire: Coming off a tough 6-24 season, the Wildcats are certainly more experienced. Last season, all five of their freshman played significant minutes. UNH had won six straight openers, but all were at home against lesser opponents. The last time the Wildcats opened with a loss was also at BC, coming on Nov. 10, 2007.
Boston College: A healthy return for 7-foot center Dennis Clifford is a key for the Eagles this season. Last year, Clifford – hampered by a right knee injury – played in just two games before red shirting. In his previous season, he was limited to 14 minutes a game due to a knee injury. On Friday, he seemed to move well despite scoring just six points and grabbing four rebounds.
New Hampshire faces Thomas College in its home opener on Tuesday.
Boston College faces cross-state rival Massachusetts at TD Garden on Sunday.