December 29, 2014

BOSTON (AP) Boston College coach Jim Christian will find out soon how much his team learned from its non-league games.

Aaron Brown scored 13 of his 22 points during a game-breaking run at the start of the second half, leading the Eagles to a 70-47 win over UMass-Lowell on Monday.

The Eagles will face No. 2 Duke on Saturday in their Atlantic Coast Conference opener.

''As I told our team, `Every little thing becomes magnified as we get ready for conference play,''' Christian said.

Boston College was very good for two stretches on Monday - once at the beginning of each half.

Dennis Clifford added 19 points and Olivier Hanlan 10 for the Eagles (7-4), who never trailed and won for the fifth time in six games.

Jahad Thomas led UMass-Lowell (6-6) with 17 points. It was the River Hawks' fourth straight loss.

Boston College led by seven at halftime and broke it open with a 19-6 run in the initial seven minutes of the second half. Brown nailed three 3-pointers during the spree.

''I think as a team we had a history of letting teams outscore us in the second half,''' Brown said. ''It was just a matter of bringing energy.''

Brown's baseline drive gave BC a 48-28 edge with just under 13 minutes to play.

UMass-Lowell never came closer than 15 points the rest of the way.

''I think in the second half we came out and didn't play very well and dug ourselves another big hole,'' River Hawks coach Pat Duquette said. ''We know how much bigger they are than us, so we've got to be more efficient in every other area of the basketball game.''

The Eagles started the game red-hot, nailing their first seven shots - three coming on 3-point attempts - en route to a 19-4 lead just over six minutes into the game.

But then they went ice cold, missing 13 of their final 15 in the half as UMass-Lowell sliced the score to 29-22 at the intermission. The River Hawks' DJ Mlachnik missed a pair of 3s late in the half that would have given them their first lead of the game.

It was the first-ever meeting between the schools, located about 35 miles apart.

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TIP-INS

UMass-Lowell: The River Hawks were outsized by BC. The Eagles had eight players see action that were listed as tall or taller than UMass-Lowell's tallest starter - 6-foot-5 forward Kerry Weldon. ''It's tough. We're like the smallest team in the country,'' 5-foot-10 guard Chad Holley said. ''We know in every game we're not going to be bigger than everybody.''

Boston College: The Eagles cleaned up on the America East Conference in its non-league part of their schedule, going 4-0. They also beat New Hampshire, Maine and Binghamton.

FAMILIAR PLACE

Pat Duquette was an assistant for former BC coach Al Skinner for 13 seasons, from 1997-2010. He even got to sit on that same bench Monday because the Eagles moved to the opposite one a few years ago. ''Once the game started it was just like every other game because it has to be,'' he said. ''But stepping foot on this campus was special. It was a great place for me - 13 years. We had a lot of success on the basketball court. It's a like a second home to me.''

UP NEXT

UMass-Lowell: Hosts Binghamton on Friday.

Boston College: At No. 2 Duke on Saturday.

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