On Tuesday night at Conte Forum, the Boston College Eagles defeated Maryland, 69-58, in their ACC contest. BC has now won two of their last three games, both at home, and improves to 12-14 (4-9) on the season. At the moment, the Eagles are tied for 9th in the conference.
These two teams played once before in January, which was a narrow win for Maryland. In that game, much like Tuesday night’s encounter, the offenses started slowly. Both teams struggled to find the hoop early, but then it became a game of runs: BC shot out to a lead, then Maryland came back and took a lead of their own. The scores would eventually level, but Maryland (Logan Aronhalt, specifically) went on one more big run to close out the half and give his Terps a 33-26 lead.
The Eagles began the second half by taking three quick fouls in less than thirty seconds, but the Terrapins gave them an opening: Maryland couldn’t make any baskets, but Olivier Hanlan and his Eagles heated up. In reality, despite the final score, the meeting was back-and-forth for much of the latter half, but BC took the lead for good when Hanlan was at the line shooting free throws with 5:04 to go. The home team was able to pull away in the final minutes, going on a 20-8 run to close out the game.
Olivier Hanlan’s star continues to grow in the Atlantic Coast Conference, as the young man who many now suspect will be ACC Rookie of the Year led the way with 26 points. Logan Aronholt of Maryland, the three-point sharpshooter who gave BC trouble all night, also had 26. Nobody else in the Eagles’ starting rotation had a remarkable night, as non-Hanlan starters shot a dreadful 4-for-25 (16%) from the floor.
The other story was Eddie Odio, the sophomore who seemed early on to be one of the most improved players on the team this year. It has now become obvious. Several more slam dunks were added to his tally and he made a few solid defensive plays en route to an 8-point, 11-rebound, 6-block performance. Odio also had half of BC’s eight offensive boards, saving a few critical possessions for the Eagles. He is evolving into a very useful player for Steve Donahue and gives him needed depth off the bench. Lonnie Jackson was a help from there as well, scoring 13.
Dennis Clifford, hampered by injuries all season, played just five minutes and looked in pain doing it. It is a legitimate wonder how much more court time he will see this season given that BC is merely playing out the string.
Whatever Clifford’s situation, the Eagles have finally started to find a few ACC wins and handed Maryland a bad loss for their NCAA Tournament hopes in the process. Getting their fifth conference win of the season in their next game will be a little more difficult: BC next faces Duke in Durham on Sunday afternoon.