Boston College’s Olivier Hanlan front-rimmed both free throws at the tail end of regulation as on Saturday afternoon at Conte Forum, the Eagles were defeated by the Clemson Tigers, 62-60.
With the loss, the Eagles fall to 4-11 (0-2) on the season, losing to Clemson for the first time since the 2011 ACC Tournament. The team has now lost seven of its previous eight games, last winning a Division I game on November 26.
Boston College trailed in this game by 14 points at the half, based upon a thoroughly lackluster shooting and defensive performance. In the second half, however, with returning veteran Dennis Clifford taking key minutes and the Eagles actually becoming opportunistic, Boston College was able to close the gap and pull to within two points at the end of the game.
Olivier Hanlan had the ball with just seconds remaining, down three points; he made the first free throw and intentionally missed the second. The Eagles rebounded the ball, and Clemson fouled Hanlan as he went up with it again. Unfortunately for Hanlan, with just 1.3 seconds remaining during the second set of free throws, he missed both (the second intentionally once again) and Clemson grabbed the ball and the win.
Nevertheless, Hanlan led all scorers with 27 points. Ryan Anderson was the only other Eagle in double-figures with 13. Dennis Clifford had three rebounds and no shot attempts in his first game back from injury. The team shot just 36.6% for the game, though a higher percentage was from deep (46.7%). Clemson was led with 16 points by KJ McDaniels.
Give Boston College credit for actually playing with some passion in the second half. Rarely seen this season, the bench was alive and the crowd got into the game late. Sadly, the first half was marked by a lack of effort, and the big hole they dug for themselves is why the Eagles lost. The selective giving of effort is problematic, as the intensity they had, produced over 40 minutes, would have resulted in a victory. We saw something similar against Harvard, where a trailing Boston College showed up in the second half, only to fold late.
The end result is that the Eagles are now 4-11, getting further away from relevance. With there being nothing left to save of the 2013-14 season at this point, all Boston College fans can hope for now is that the team fights. There is no doubt by now that this will be a very bad season, but if Steve Donahue and the rest are going down, we would all much rather see them go down swinging.
The Eagles return to action next Saturday at Virginia Tech.