GAME NOTES: The Boston College Eagles will try to bounce back as they visit the Lawrence Joel Coliseum for an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
The Eagles shocked the basketball world on Feb. 19 with an overtime win over the previously unbeaten Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. Coach Steve Donahue's team has failed to build on its marquee victory and lost back-to- back games to Miami-Florida (69-42) and Pittsburgh (66-59). The current two- game slide dropped Boston College to a 7-21 overall record, which includes a 3-12 mark in league action. The Eagles stepped up their play in March last season, winning their final three regular season games and their first ACC Tournament game. Boston College has struggled offensively as of late with an average of only 58 ppg over the span of their last four games.
Coach Jeff Bzdelik's Demon Deacons snapped a seven-game losing streak in their last appearance with a 62-57 triumph over Clemson. Wake Forest trailed by 10 points in the first half, but held the Tigers to 35.7 percent efficiency from the floor over the final 20 minutes to overcome the deficit. The victory improved the team to a 15-13 overall record, which includes an impressive 13-3 ledger at home.
BC is 10-6 versus the Demon Deacons in the history of this rivalry. This will be the first and only regular-season meeting between these schools in 2013-14. Both sides successfully defended their home court in last season's home-and- home series.
Although the Eagles have had trouble scoring points as a unit, sophomore guard Olivier Hanlan has been consistently productive on the offensive end. The 6- foot-4 shooting guard poured in 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the floor versus Pittsburgh and in the process became just the third player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau as a sophomore. Junior guard Patrick Heckmann scored 15 points for the second consecutive game, while junior forward Ryan Anderson tallied 10 points, five boards and three steals. Hanlan is ranked third in the ACC in scoring at 18.8 ppg and is tied for 11th with 14.2 ppg.
The Demon Deacons' subpar 5-10 ACC record is not a product of poor offensive play. Wake Forest ranks third in conference play in field-goal percentage (.448) and leads the league with 51 percent efficiency from inside the 3-point line. The ACC's active leading career scorer, Travis McKie, became the first player in school history with 1,600 points and 800 rebounds after posting eight points and five rebounds versus Clemson. Sophomore guard Codi Miller- McIntyre, who averages team-highs of 13.4 ppg and four apg, tallied 10 points and six helpers versus the Tigers, while Devin Thomas and Tyler Cavanaugh scored 12 points each.
Wake Forest is a more physical and athletic team than BC. Although Hanlan and Anderson are effective scorers, the Eagles do not have another player capable of creating his own shot. Thomas is a tenacious interior defender, which will be problematic for Anderson and put too much of the burden on Hanlan.
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