BOSTON (AP) — Boston College coach Jim Christian’s saying for this week certainly wasn’t ignored by his players.
Olivier Hanlan scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Aaron Brown had 16 points to carry Boston College to a hard-fought 69-60 victory over Providence on Friday night.
“The theme all week was ‘We’ve got to stop hoping to win and start knowing to win,'” first-year coach Christian said. “I was proud of the grit we showed and the adversity.”
Dimitri Batten added 11 points for the Eagles (4-3), who posted their second straight win after two consecutive losses.
BC outrebounded the Friars 41-28 and owned a 10-9 edge on the offensive glass.
“I just feel like everybody was on the same page,” Hanlan said. “We started a little bit bumpy on defense and then everybody started crashing the boards.”
The Eagles gave up seven offensive rebounds in the opening half, but held PC to just two after the intermission.
“We gave up too many offensive rebounds in the first half and coach talked to us about ‘Toughness. Toughness,” said 6-foot-5 forward Brown, who added seven boards.
Kris Dunn paced the Friars (6-2) with 24 points and six assists, and Carson Desrosiers had 15 points with six boards.
“We showed no toughness today and hopefully we can get better at that,” PC coach Ed Cooley said. “I didn’t think we had any pop today. I just thought we looked listless.”
The Friars sliced a nine-point deficit to 53-50 on Tyler Harris’ baseline jumper with 5 ½ minutes to play, but the Eagles scored nine of the next 11 points to open the first double-digit lead of the game at 62-52 on Hanlan’s free throws with 3:30 left.
Providence had a handful of chances to close the gap in the next two minutes, but missed shots and a traveling violation spoiled their hopes.
Brown’s driving layup increased it to 64-54 with just over a minute to play. Hanlan then hit two free throws to seal it.
It was the 109th meeting between the former original Big East rivals, dating back to 1942. Providence owns a 59-50 edge.
Hanlan’s 3 from the left corner capped a quick 7-2 spurt that gave BC a 47-40 edge 5 minutes into the second half.
After a driving basket by Dunn, the Eagles pushed their lead to 51-42 on Batten’s foul-line jumper with 12 minutes to play.
The teams were tied at 34 after a well-played first half that saw seven lead changes and 11 ties. Neither team held more than a two-possession edge in the opening 20 minutes.
Providence: The Friars were held to just 38 points in a 20-point loss at No. 1 Kentucky on Sunday, shooting just 28 percent in the game and 16 in the second half. They also went only 4 of 24 on 3-point attempts. On Friday, they made 39.3 percent, but only 6 of 20 on 3s. “I just thought we relied a little too much on the jump shots,” PC coach Ed Cooley said after the loss to BC.
Boston College: The Eagles entered last in the Atlantic Coast Conference in field goal percentage, shooting just 42 percent. They did a nice job from the outside on Friday, hitting 58.3 in the first half (14 of 24) and 50 (24 of 48) for the game.
SHOW YOUR IDENTITY
BC’s players said they were sparked when 6-foot-11 forward Will Magarity went to the floor for a loose ball and called a timeout in front of his team’s bench midway into the second half. “I think the moment we revealed (our identity) was after that when the whole bench erupted and picked him up,” Boston College coach Jim Christian said.
Providence’s leading scorer LaDontae Henton, who came in averaging 21.3 points a game, was held to nine on 4-of-16 shooting.
Providence: Hosts Brown on Monday.
Boston College: Hosts Maine on Thursday.
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