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Boston College tops Division II Philadelphia 67-50

December 15, 2013

BOSTON (AP) — Boston College coach Steve Donahue knows his team’s confidence level has become fragile after a slow start this season. He’s hoping a win against a Division II team was one small step toward turning it around.

Olivier Hanlan scored 14 points and Boston College overcame a sluggish 30 minutes before pulling away for a 67-50 win over Philadelphia on Sunday.

“We’re still at the point where we’re trying to be prepared,” Donahue said. “I still don’t think they completely understand it because they don’t know what that feels like to have the confidence of knowing what it feels like (to win regularly). We haven’t had that kind of success.

“There’s no seniors and no guys that anyone’s ever seen win. That’s the message we offer as coaches to the players. They’re still trying to figure out how to be successful. They still have never had a role model show them how to win.”

Alex Dragicevich hit four 3-pointers and finished with 12 points, and Ryan Anderson and Will Magarity each had 10 points for the Eagles (4-7), who snapped a three-game losing streak. Anderson added 13 rebounds.

The Eagles were in a tight contest with the Rams until their talent level took over down the stretch.

“I just felt we weren’t prepared coming into the game. They played hard. They’re a pretty good basketball team,” Hanlan said. “It’s a Sunday, early morning game, but that’s no excuse. The guys just took a little time. After that, we had our feet under us.”

With many in the area cleaning up after the first major snowstorm dumped about 6-10 inches and a weak opponent, there was a very small crowd of approximately 1,000 on hand. When the teams tipped off at just after noon, there were maybe 500 people in the seats.

Derek Johnson led Philadelphia University with 15 points, Nick Christian had 12 and Nick Schlitzer 10. The Rams, who played just six players, traveled nine hours by bus and arrived in the area about 4:30 a.m.

“You go out for a game like this, you go up and there’s no pressure on us,” Philadelphia coach Herb Magee said. “It’s a game for Boston College. It’s an exhibition for us.”

The game served as an exhibition for Philadelphia (7-3) and doesn’t count in BC’s RPI rating.

But, when it got tight, Hanlan made the difference.

“That kid Hanlan can make plays,” Magee said. “I didn’t study the rest of them, but he’s the only one that seems to be that burner that can go by you.”

The Eagles led by eight at halftime and had trouble shaking the Rams, who cut it to 43-41 on Johnson’s 3-pointer from the top of the key with 11 1/2 minutes to play.

After the teams traded baskets, Anderson scored in the lane before Hanlan and Dragicevich nailed consecutive 3s just 47 seconds apart, pushing BC to its first double-digit lead of the game, 53-42, with 8 1/2 minutes left.

Anderson then scored in the lane again, capping a 10-0 run and the Rams never threatened the rest of the way.

“I thought we maintained our toughness and we stopped them 12 of their last 16 possessions,” Donahue said.

It was the first-ever meeting of the schools.

The Eagles opened a nine-point lead twice in the opening half, but the Rams sliced it to three late before BC took its 33-25 edge into halftime.

Donahue started his coaching career as an assistant with Philadelphia in 1988.

“I’ve never had more fun in two years of coaching than when I was with (Magee),” Donahue said.

BC, a member of the Atlantic Coast conference, travels to Auburn for its next game on Saturday.

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