BOSTON (AP) Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan could sense they were facing a struggling offense. He knew the Eagles just needed to concentrate defensively and they’d be fine.
Dimitri Batten scored 18 points, Aaron Brown 16 and Boston College posted a 63-49 non-conference victory over Binghamton on Sunday afternoon.
”We didn’t start the game off strong defensively, but we picked it up a bit,” Hanlan said. ”I remember we came out kind of flat the first five, six minutes, then we kind of picked it up and that’s when they started turning over the ball a lot more. Whenever you play teams like this, you have to kind of punch them in the face right from the start.”
Hanlan added 14 points for the Eagles (6-3), who never trailed en route to their fourth-straight win.
Boston College held Binghamton to 30.2 percent shooting from the floor.
”I think we played a couple of stretches today where we were really focused on defense,” Eagles coach Jim Christian said.
Justin McFadden led the Bearcats (1-11) with 18 points. It was their ninth consecutive loss and dropped them to 0-6 on the road.
”We do struggle for confidence,” Binghamton coach Tommy Dempsey said. ”We needed like a 7-0 run or something in the second half, but we’re just struggling for offense.”
The Eagles took charge early in the game, opening a double-digit lead in the initial 7 1/2 minutes by using a 10-0 run to pull to an 18-7 edge. Brown nailed a 3-pointer and scored five in the spree.
Boston College frustrated the younger and smaller Bearcats, playing tough man-to-man defense to force them to run the shot clock deep into single digits on a number of first-half possessions.
The Eagles led 32-18 at intermission.
Binghamton shot just 25 percent in the opening half (6 of 24) and turned the ball over 12 times. The Bearcats went 9 1/2 minutes without a basket in the closing 11 minutes.
BC opened its biggest lead of the first half (30-14) on Dennis Clifford’s layup that capped a 12-3 run.
The Eagles didn’t shoot well before the break, hitting only 37.5 percent (9 of 24), but they were in control because of Binghamton’s inability to get any consistent scoring.
In the second half, BC had three 3-pointers and a conventional 3-point play in the opening 6 minutes.
The crowd was likely diminished with the area’s local professional football team – the New England Patriots – in action at the same time and the Eagles facing a weak opponent. There were likely not more than a thousand fans in the stands in the usually, but more-than-normally quiet Conte Forum.
Binghamton: The Bearcats have the youngest team in the country. On Sunday, they started four freshmen and a sophomore. … Their struggles on offense continued. It was the third-straight game they were held under 20 first-half points.
Boston College: The Eagles played their fourth of six consecutive December home games. They close the stretch with Southern California next Sunday and UMass-Lowell of the America East on Dec. 29.
BETTER BE READY
The Eagles know they’ll need a better effort in their next home game – next week against Southern California. ”I think they’ve won the last four,” Hanlan said. ”It’s going to be a pretty good challenge for us.”
TWO TOUGH GAMES AGAINST THE ACC
The Bearcats were held to 39 points in a season-opening loss at Notre Dame. They shot just 26.5 percent in that game.
Binghamton: Hosts St. Bonaventure on Saturday.
Boston College: Hosts USC next Sunday.