GAME NOTES: Both the Boston College Eagles and Virginia Tech Hokies have struggled as of late, and look to turn things around in this Atlantic Coast Conference matchup at Cassell Coliseum.
Boston College has lost four consecutive games dating back to Dec. 22, before the team went on its holiday break. The last time the Eagles defeated a Division I opponent was back on Nov. 26 - an overtime bout against Sacred Heart. The Eagles are coming off a 62-60 loss against ACC foe Clemson.
Virginia Tech is also trying to recover from a recent loss, as the Hokies were downed by 20 points, 72-52, by second-ranked Syracuse in ACC play. Virginia Tech has lost three of its last four games and is now 8-6 on the year overall.
Boston College has the edge in the all-time series between these two programs, 15-8. The Eagles came away with an 86-75 victory in the last outing, back on Jan. 9 of last season.
The Eagles' last contest came down to free-throws at the end, as guard Olivier Hanlon had to intentionally miss his second free-throw attempt after missing his first with 1.7 second remaining and down by two points. Boston College had late-game free-throw woes that eventually hurt the team in the short term. Still, Hanlon led all scorers in the game with 27 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the floor, which included 4-of-7 from 3-point range and 9-of-12 from the charity stripe. He added five rebounds in 39 minutes of action. Ryan Anderson scored 13 points, but turned the ball over six times in the loss.
Hanlon is by far the leading scorer on the team, and one of the bright spots on an otherwise sinking Boston College squad. Hanlon averages 19.9 ppg on 43.1 percent shooting from the floor. He tops the team with 45 total assists this season, and contributes 4.2 rpg. Anderson is first on the team in rebounding at 6.9 rpg and second in scoring with 16 ppg. The Eagles score an average of 71.3 ppg, but give up 76.3 ppg to opponents.
Virginia Tech was only down by six points at the end of the first half to Syracuse earlier this week, but the No. 2-ranked team in the nation caught fire in the second frame, outscoring the Hokies 37-23 in the half by connecting on 51.7 percent of its shots from the floor. C.J. Barksdale was the only Hokies player to net double figures against the Orange, scoring 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Joey van Zegeren led the team with five rebounds in the contest.
Jarell Eddie tops Virginia Tech with 16.6 ppg on 41.2 percent shooting this season. The next closest scorer to Eddie who has played in all 14 games is Devin Wilson, who nets 7.1 ppg. Eddie is the team's leader in rebounding, averaging six per contest. The Hokies aren't a team that will blow any one opponent out of the water, as they average a steady 72.4 ppg this season, and give up 69.4 ppg.
Neither team is playing its best basketball at this point in time, but Boston College appears to have a lot of issues as it starts up ACC play. Hanlon can't do it all for the Eagles.
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