Pittsburgh 66, Boston College 59: Eagles Hang Close, But Can’t Break Panthers


Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College Eagles basketball wasted a solid performance from Olivier Hanlan as they were once again unable to find the answers they were seeking in crunch time.

On Wednesday night at Conte Forum, the Pittsburgh Panthers — in their first meeting with Boston College as ACC members — defeated the Eagles, 66-59. With the loss, Boston College drops to 7-21 (3-12) on the year.

The Eagles rushed out to a 7-2 lead early in the game, prompting Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon to call a timeout. His team would respond, going on a big run to take the lead by double-digits, which Boston College knocked down to nine, 35-26, at halftime.

In the second half, the Panthers would again break to a double-digit lead, only for the Eagles to go into their highly characteristic “get close but not that close” tease mode. On several occasions, the Eagles got to within four or five, but either Pittsburgh would respond with a big play or Boston College would fail to capitalize upon whatever opportunity was afforded them. At one point, Patrick Heckmann was even called for a flagrant foul with the Eagles down four. It was a familiar script for the Eagles during their 2013-14 season.

Hanlan’s 25 points sent him over the 1,000 mark for his career, which was perhaps the only highlight of the game for Boston College. Pittsburgh dominated on the boards, 33-18, and shot an even 50 percent from the floor. The Eagles were 47.8 percent from the field, but just 25 percent from three-point range.

Pittsburgh’s 17 turnovers gave the Eagles chances to get some points back, which they did, but Boston College once again did not nearly do enough to get the game within reach.

The 2011 recruiting class just hit loss number 60, which is an average of twenty per season, and that does not even account for the fact that they will lose more games. Syracuse is a distant memory as the Eagles have resumed sinking at full speed. Fans, who a week ago were celebrating and meeting the team bus after midnight, were almost totally tuned out to this latest boring defeat.

Boston College returns to action on Saturday at Wake Forest.