By Jim O’Connell
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Boston College’s only win this season came with Olivier Hanlan scoring a career-high 38 points on 11-of-19 shooting against Florida Atlantic.
The Eagles’ next game was against No. 18 Connecticut, and the Huskies were going to make sure the Atlantic Coast Conference’s rookie of the year last season didn’t put up numbers like that.
Hanlan finished with 19 points on 5-of-14 shooting in Connecticut’s 72-70 victory Thursday night in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.
“They were pretty aggressive coming off ball screens and when I would come off a handoff they would deny and get to the open spot,” Hanlan said. “I think that’s probably the game plan they had in mind.”
Connecticut guards Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatwright were responsible for most of the coverage on Hanlan.
“It wasn’t only me and Ryan,” Napier said. “The whole team, all five guys were looking at him. Coach warned us about him. He’s tough and we wanted to tire him out and we felt we did so.”
Connecticut and Boston College had played plenty of times since their first meeting in 1918 — but not since 2005 when both were in the Big East.
Eight years and two different conferences later, they had one of the best games of their 90 meetings.
Boatwright made two big free throws with 7.9 seconds to play and blocked a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
DeAndre Daniels had 23 points to lead the Huskies (5-0), who play the winner of the Washington-Indiana game for the title on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Napier had 20 points for Connecticut, which led most of the way. He made his first seven free throws but missed the second of two with 30 seconds left, leaving the Huskies ahead 69-67.
Hanlan missed a drive and the 6-foot Boatwright was fouled grabbing the rebound. He made two free throws with 7.9 seconds remaining to make it 71-67.
Hanlan felt he should have made the shot, which sat on the rim for a split second before falling off.
“They were pretty aggressive the whole game. It was an open look,” he said.
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