Boston College edges Georgia Tech 64-62 for first ACC win
ATLANTA (AP) Boston College coach Jim Christian says Olivier Hanlan has ''kicked it into another gear'' in the Eagles' Atlantic Coast Conference schedule.
That new gear finally delivered an ACC win.
Hanlan scored 25 points, including a go-ahead basket with 1:10 remaining, and Boston College held off Georgia Tech 64-62 on Sunday for its first ACC win.
''It was big-time,'' said Hanlan of the need to end the Eagles' winless streak in conference games. ''We had a lot of close ones down the stretch. ... Obviously, getting the first one is great. We just have to build on it.''
Patrick Heckmann added 12 points for Boston College (9-9, 1-5) in the matchup of teams which began the day without a conference win.
''We just couldn't lose this one,'' Heckmann said. ''We found a way to win it. We made plays at the end and we didn't let it slip away this time.''
The loss left Georgia Tech (9-10, 0-7) winless in the ACC. Of the Yellow Jackets' seven straight conference losses, six have been by no more than seven points.
''As I told the guys, we got ourselves into this and we've got to get out of it,'' said Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory.
Marcus Georges-Hunt led Georgia Tech with 20 points, including two free throws with 1:26 remaining to give Georgia Tech its first tie of the second half. Hanlan quickly answered with a basket to give Boston College the lead. Heckmann pushed the lead to four points with two free throws with 27 seconds remaining.
Gregory was critical of his defense allowing the Eagles to make 59.1 percent (13 of 22) of their second-half shots, including Hanlan's go-ahead basket.
''Tie score, we've got to get a stop and we were not able to do that,'' Gregory said. ''You kind of look at a lot of games that way.''
Gregory called Hanlan ''the premier guard in the conference.''
Christian said the Eagles look to Hanlan when the game is on the line.
''He's the guy every night, and he's becoming better,'' Christian said.
Boston College became the second ACC team to have its only conference win come against Georgia Tech. Wake Forest beat the Yellow Jackets on Jan. 10 and hasn't won another league game.
Quinton Stephens, who had 17 points for Georgia Tech, sank a 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds remaining cut the lead to one point.
Aaron Brown, who had 11 points, made one of two free throws with 3.8 seconds remaining. Georges-Hunt slumped to the court after missing a desperation 3-pointer that officials ruled came after the final buzzer.
''I just told myself just keep your head up,'' Georges-Hunt said. ''Stay positive because we play again on Wednesday. ... There's no point in keeping my head down.''
Boston College: Hanlan has scored in double figures in 12 straight games and 17 of 18. He made four of five 3-pointers. ... After a 5-1 record in December, the Eagles are 2-5 in January. ... Hanlan set a career high with 41 points against Georgia Tech in the 2013 ACC tournament.
Georgia Tech: Only three Yellow Jackets - Georges-Hunt, Bolden and Stephens - scored in the first half. Other players were a combined 0 for 8 from the field. ... Georgia Tech claimed a 35-27 advantage in rebounds. Georges-Hunt and Robert Sampson each had nine rebounds.
Center Dennis Clifford, a 7-footer who normally starts and is Boston College's leading rebounder, was sick and did not make the trip. ''Being without Dennis, it was key for us to put bodies on people down low,'' said Hanlan, who led the team with seven rebounds.
The teams combined to make only 2 of 18 shots in the first six minutes.
Georgia Tech was coming off a 57-28 loss at No. 2 Virginia on Thursday night. Its scoring woes seemed to carry over into the opening minutes against the Eagles.
Boston College: Hosts No. 10 Louisville on Wednesday.
Georgia Tech: At Miami on Wednesday.