Hanlan helps BC snap 9-game skid; 79-63 over N.C. State
BOSTON (AP) Olivier Hanlan's recent play has vaulted him into conversation for the conference's player of the year.
He finally has a victory to go along with an outstanding month.
Hanlan scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help Boston College snap a nine-game losing streak on Saturday with a 79-63 win over North Carolina State, dealing the Wolfpack's NCAA tournament chances a tough blow.
Hanlan, who was 7 for 11 from the floor and 7 of 8 from the free throw line, averaged 27.5 points in eight February games.
''I definitely have been playing really good,'' he said. ''It seems like every single game coach puts in a few new plays to keep the other teams off guard.''
North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried was impressed by Hanlan's play, and felt he should be mentioned in the Atlantic Coast Conference's top-player talk.
''He's as good as any guard in the country. Period. End of story,'' he said. ''He's as good as anybody. He's deserving of being in that conversation.''
Patrick Heckmann added 14 points and seven assists, and Aaron Brown scored 13 for the Eagles (10-18, 2-14 ACC). Dimitri Batten had 11 with eight rebounds, and Dennis Clifford scored 10 points before fouling out with 4 1/2 minutes left.
''This is a character win all around,'' BC first-year coach Jim Christian said. ''I didn't inherit a group of freshman. I inherited a group of seniors. Late February, losing nine in a row, I don't know how many seniors would have played it out.''
The Wolfplack, though, didn't look like they were ready to play.
''We had no zip, no energy,'' Gottfried said. ''We were dead.''
Kyle Washington led North Carolina State (17-12, 8-8) with 14 points. Ralston Turner had 13 and Trevor Lacey 12 as the Wolfpack had their three-game winning streak snapped.
''We didn't defend them as well as we should have and didn't make any shots,'' Lacey said. ''There's really no explanation for it.''
The Eagles shot 65.2 percent to open a 43-26 lead at halftime. They didn't let up in the second half, twice opening 23-point advantages in the initial seven minutes.
North Carolina State sliced it to 66-54 with 3 1/2 minutes to play, but the Eagles made enough plays to hold on.
During many stretches when N.C. State looked prepared to make a run, Hanlan calmly slowed down the offense and either drove, set-up teammates or hit a jumper.
''We knew what he was going to do and how he was going to get the ball, but they do a good job of getting the ball to him all over the court,'' Lacey said. ''They get the ball where he's comfortable scoring and it's hard to get him off his game.''
Coming off an impressive 12-point win at North Carolina on Tuesday, the Wolfpack were hit hard by BC from the start. The Eagles nailed three of their initial four 3-point attempts for an 11-2 lead three minutes into the game.
After N.C. State seemed to settle down and played tougher defensively, the Eagles responded by getting out on the fastbreak in a 17-10 run, pulling to their first double-digit lead, 32-21, on Hanlan's two free throws.
BC closed the half by scoring 11 of the final 13 points, getting a 3-point play by Brown just before the buzzer.
The second didn't start any better for the Wolfpack when Lacey airballed their first shot and two teammates didn't touch rim on shots in the lane.
The Eagles scored the first six points, extending its advantage to 23 points on Heckmann's drive. They also made it 56-33 on Hanlan's long 3 from just in front of their bench with 12:58 to play.
North Carolina State: The Wolfpack held North Carolina to a nearly three-decade low 46 points in the Smith Center and 34.5 percent shooting in their last game. ... N.C. State had won the last six meetings against BC.
Boston College: Hanlan was coming off a 39-point effort in a loss at Pittsburgh on Tuesday. ... With spring break starting on Saturday, there were very few students, no cheerleaders and no band.
North Carolina State: At Clemson on Tuesday.
Boston College: At Virginia Tech on Monday.