Yellow Jackets on losing end of tight game
by Matthew Carroll
Associated Press Sports Writer
March 10, 2013 12:44 AM | 891 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BOSTON — Senior day at Boston College quickly turned into a party for a pair of freshmen.

Joe Rahon scored 15 points, including eight straight down the stretch, Olivier Hanlan added 14 and the Eagles used a late 12-0 run to erase a double-digit deficit and close their regular season with a 74-72 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday.

“We’ve been in that spot before, down 10 with 10 to go or somewhere around there, and we’re used to it — not necessarily in a good way, but it doesn’t bother us mentally,” said Rahon, who also doled out seven assists. “It’s starting to bring out the best in us.”

Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 16 points and Chris Bolden had 12 for the Yellow Jackets (16-14, 6-12 Atlantic Coast Conference), who were coming off their biggest win of the season on Wednesday, a 71-69 victory over No. 6 Miami that wasn’t sealed until a last-second tip-in by Georges-Hunt.

This time, the late-game heroics belonged to Rahon.

With less than 3 minutes to play and the shot clock winding down, the freshman drove from the 3-point line to the basket, converting on a three-point play, and added another slicing layup a minute later that staked Boston College (15-16, 7-11) to a 66-64 lead, its first since midway through the opening half.

“He just has a terrific knack, and I just thought he was locked in (Saturday) most of the game,” said Boston College coach Steve Donahue. “His floor game, especially down the stretch, was terrific.”

Hanlan converted on a fast-break layup after a blocked shot by Eddie Odio and later added another basket to put the Eagles in front 71-64 with 25 seconds left.

A quick 3-pointer by Georges-Hunt and a scooping lay-in from Pierre Jordan cut the deficit to three, and after Hanlan hit 1 of 2 from the free-throw line, Bolden drained a 3 from the corner to make it 73-72 with 2.7 seconds remaining.

Patrick Heckmann then sealed the game with a steal on the inbounds pass after also going 1-of-2 from the free-throw line.

“Once we got down 10, we had great resolve and figured out ways to score and get a couple stops,” Donahue said.

Ryan Anderson had 13 points and Odio netted 11 for the Eagles, who shot 70 percent (14-of-20) from the field over the final 20 minutes to finish the season with three straight wins. The teams are likely to meet again in the opening round of the ACC tournament on Thursday.

“I think both of us are playing as well as anybody in the league,” Donahue said. “In terms of playing up to their potential, I think Boston College and Georgia Tech are playing great. I think the future’s great and it’s going to be another really hard-fought game.”

Mfon Udofia netted six of his nine points early in the second half to put the Yellow Jackets in front 44-38 and Georges-Hunt later scored four straight, including a deep jumper at the 14:23 mark, that handed them their biggest lead of the game, 52-42.

The Eagles whittled the deficit to four with 11 minutes left when Odio went on a personal 8-2 run, canning a 3-pointer from the left wing and adding a baseline dunk to make it 54-50.

“Eddie’s maturation over the last month-and-a-half has been the difference, in my opinion, in a lot of ways,” Donahue said. “The first six games of the ACC, he barely played. And now it’s hard to keep him off the floor.”

A pair of free throws by Anderson and a slicing layup from Hanlan knotted the game at 56-all with just under 7 minutes to play.

Just when it appeared the Yellow Jackets were about to put the game away, stretching the lead to 62-56 on a tip-in by Brandon Reed and a long jumper from Robert Carter Jr., Rahon and the Eagles strung together a strong surge of their own to close the regular season in style.

“Give them credit. I don’t think Steve’s getting the credit he deserves. They’ve played great in the last second half of the year,” said Georgia Tech coach Brian Gregory. “A young team and their guards are good. We weren’t able to guard them.

“You got to be able to guard the ball better one-on-one against them and we weren’t able to do that,” he added. “But they’ve done that to every team that’s come in here.”

Boston College’s Andrew Van Nest scored seven of his nine points during a 17-7 run midway through the opening half that turned a six-point deficit into a four-point lead with 10:49 to go.

But Boston College turned the ball over on three of its final six possessions, the last miscue leading to a 3-pointer by Bolden that sent Georgia Tech into halftime with a 36-32 edge.
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