Boston College 50, Auburn 49: Freshmen Lead Way to Tight Win


You know the old saying: a win’s a win.

On Wednesday evening at Conte Forum, the Boston College Eagles men’s basketball team defeated the Auburn Tigers, 50-49. The win brings BC up to 2-3 on the season and snaps a three-game losing streak, while the Tigers fall to 2-3.

The contest was mostly close throughout, but BC was able to build up a late 7-point lead, which got whittled away to nothing. Freshman Olivier Hanlan, who led the Eagles in scoring on the day with 19 points, made the game-winning free throw with 19.1 seconds remaining. Another freshman guard, Joe Rahon, was second-highest on the team with 15 points scored. No other Boston College player exceeded five points.

From start to finish, Boston College had trouble shooting, and they only ended up with a 36.2% field goal percentage as a team. Hanlan and Rahon accounted for 68% of the Eagles’ scoring on Wednesday, while Ryan Anderson accounted for very little. Anderson, who missed Sunday’s game due to an injury, played but was very limited in what he could do. He made a few nice defensive plays but was a complete non-factor offensively, making no field goals and totaling three points, all on free throws. He fouled out with almost five minutes to go, helped by a technical foul (for venting at the officials) that he earned after he was called for his third. In short, BC’s star was frustrated and it showed.

It was an ugly performance by the Eagles, but on the other side, an uglier performance by Auburn. Anderson literally did nothing to help BC win on offense and they still won the game, so that’s about all Boston College can ask at this point. There were many things they could have done better on both sides of the ball, but after a 9-22 season last year, none of us are going to throw back a win because it wasn’t good enough.  To say it wasn’t ugly, however, would be inaccurate.

One also should not look at the freshmen stepping up as a bad thing, unless you want to point to the rest of the team looking exceptionally lousy on offense. It’s a positive in that BC’s freshmen this year are better than BC’s freshman last year, at least as far as one can tell based on the first five games. Hanlan and Rahon are good players, and aside from Rahon fouling a three-point shot in the final minute, the latter had a fine afternoon.

The Eagles return to action on Sunday as they host Bryant.