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BC comes up short vs. Notre Dame

02.16.14 at 8:57 pm ET
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Pat Connaughton scored 17 points and made some key plays down the stretch to lead Notre Dame to its first road win as a member of the ACC, a 73-69 victory over Boston College on Sunday evening.

Olivier Hanlan scored 18 points for BC (6-19, 2-10), which has lost eight of its last nine games. Joe Rahon scored 13 points while Ryan Anderson had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Notre Dame (14-12, 5-8) led by three at the break and pushed the lead to nine at 57-48 midway through the second half on a jumper by Eric Atkins (16 points), assisted by Connaughton. BC then ran off five straight, but Connaughton, who hails from Arlington, scored the Irish’s next six points to keep his team in front.

BC made a late surge and got within three points at 71-68 with 10 seconds left, but ND’s Garrick Sherman made two free throws two seconds later to effectively end BC’s chances.

BC next plays at top-ranked and undefeated Syracuse on Wednesday night.

Harvard records 20th win with rout of Cornell; Boston University moves into Patriot League lead

02.15.14 at 10:27 pm ET
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Brandyn Curry had 14 points and five steals as Harvard remained tied for first place in the Ivy League with a 67-44 rout of Cornell on Saturday night in Ithaca, N.Y.

With Yale rallying to beat Princeton in overtime, 66-65, Harvard and Yale stay deadlocked atop the league standings at 6-1. Overall, Harvard is 20-4, making the Crimson the first Ivy League team to win 20 games for five straight seasons since Penn did it six times in a row from 1970-75.

Laurent Rivard scored 12 points, Wesley Saunders netted 11 and Steve Moundou-Missi had 10 for Harvard, which shot 60 percent and never trailed.

Nolan Cressler scored 17 points for Cornell (2-20, 1-7).

– In Baltimore, John Papale and Cedric Hankerson scored 20 points apiece, combining to shoot 13-for-14 from behind the arc, to lead Boston University past Loyola (Md.), 87-72.

BU’s win, combined with American’s 74-62 loss at Lafayette, put the Terriers (19-8, 12-2 Patriot) in sole possession of first place in the league.

Papale hit all seven of his shots, including six 3-pointers, while Hankerson was 5-for-6 — all 3-pointers — as well as 5-for-6 from the free throw line.

Jordan Latham had a monster game with 25 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for Loyola (10-15, 5-9).

BU, which never trailed, led by as many as 19 points in the opening half — at 35-16 after a layup by Nathan Dieudonne. The lead was 14 at the break, 42-28. Loyola got back with five at 58-53 with 7:27 left after a 12-2 run, but Papale hit 3-pointers on four consecutive BU possessions late in the game as the Terriers regained a comfortable lead.

– In Charleston, S.C., Scott Eatherton recorded his NCAA-leading 17th double-double, with 22 points and 10 rebounds, to lead Northeastern to a 60-44 victory over Charleston.

Eatherton hit 9-of-13 shots, including 3-of-3 from behind the arc. Also for NU (9-18, 6-7 CAA), Reggie Spencer had 15 points and six rebounds.

Joe Chealey scored 11 points for Charleston (13-14, 5-7), which shot just 29 percent, including 16 percent from 3-point range (3-for-18).

NU jumped out early, taking a double-digit lead less than six minutes into the game after Eatherton hit consecutive 3-pointers. Charleston closed the half on a 9-1 run to get within 22-18 at the break.

The hosts opened the second half with a Willis Hall layup 15 seconds in but then went scoreless for almost six minutes. It was still a five-point game with 8:30 remaining, but the Huskies then went on an 11-0 run, capped by a David Walker dunk with 5:42 left that made it 47-31. The margin stayed in double digits the rest of the way.

Jameel Warney came off the bench to score 19 points and grab seven rebounds in leading Stony Brook to a 78-68 victory over host UMass-Lowell.

Akeem Williams had 20 points, seven rebounds and nine assists for UMass-Lowell (8-17, 6-7 America East). Carlos Taylor added 15 points in 13 minutes off the bench — hitting 5-of-6 3-pointers — while Mark Cornelius scored 13.

Dave Coley contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds for Stony Brook (18-8, 10-2), which led by eight at the half and quickly pushed the lead to 20 points. UMass-Lowell made a late run to get to as close as seven points in the final minute.

BC clinches Hockey East regular-season title with win over Vermont

02.15.14 at 9:25 pm ET
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Boston College clinched its third Hockey East regular-season title in the last four years with a 5-3 win over Vermont on Saturday night. It is the Eagles’ 13th regular-season title since the league’s inception in 1984.

The win also extended the Eagles’ unbeaten streak to 17 games (16-0-1). They are 15-1-1 in league play, putting them on pace to post the best in-conference record since Paul Kariya‘s 1992-93 Maine squad went 22-1-1 en route to a national championship.

Chris Calnan opened the scoring Saturday night on a shorthanded tally with 1:42 left in the first, then Bill Arnold made it 2-0 just 1:06 later. Nick Bruneteau cut the lead to 2-1 early in the second, but strikes from Johnny Gaudreau and Kevin Hayes made it 4-1 by the end of the period. Vermont cut the lead to two twice in the third period, but that was as close as it would get.

Gaudreau’s goal extended his point streak to 26 games, and his two points (he also assisted on Hayes’ goal) upped his nation-leading points total to 61 (27 goals, 34 assists). In 17 games playing together, the Gaudreau-Arnold-Hayes line has combined for 38 goals and 54 assists.

With two weekends left in the regular season, there is still plenty to be decided behind BC. Spots two through six — currently held, in order, by UMass-Lowell, Maine, Northeastern, New Hampshire and Providence — are separated by just six points.

Sampson Carter leads UMass past GW; Holy Cross continues surge

02.15.14 at 4:34 pm ET
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Sampson Carter scored 20 points and UMass held George Washington to three points in the final five minutes to take a 67-61 decision on Saturday afternoon in Washington.

Derrick Gordon added 11 points for the Minutemen (20-5, 7-4 Atlantic-10), and his 3-pointer with 12:26 left gave the visitors an 11-point lead at 49-38. GW (19-6, 7-4) then went on a 10-4 run to close the gap. After a dunk by UMass’ Raphiael Putney restored the lead to seven, the hosts ran off eight straight points, capped by a Patricio Garino layup that gave GW a 56-55 lead with just over six minutes left.

GW went cold in the final five minutes, missing all seven of its shots and scoring only three points, all free throws. An Isaiah Armwood free throw with 25 seconds left had GW within a point at 62-61, but UMass closed out the game on a 5-0 run, hitting 5-of-8 free throws.

Chaz Williams had another tough shooting day for UMass, hitting 3-of-11 shots. The speedy guard finished with eight points and six assists.

Garino led the Colonials with 20 points.

– In Bethlehem, Pa., Eric Green scored 14 points to lead Holy Cross to a 72-67 victory over Lehigh, the Crusaders’ ninth win in 10 games.

All five Crusaders starters scored in double figures, with Justin Burrell and Anthony Thompson netting 13 apiece, Malcolm Miller amassing 12 points, eight rebounds and five blocks, and Dave Dudzinski scoring 10 points.

Tim Kempton scored 17 points for Lehigh (13-14, 6-8 Patriot).

HC (16-10, 10-4) led by four points at the break, 41-37, and opened the second half with a 6-0 run, including consecutive layups by Green, to take a 10-point lead. Lehigh answered with an 11-3 run, fueled by six points from Kempton, and kept within striking distance the rest of the way.

The HC lead was three at 63-60 with 4:10 left after a layup by Lehigh’s Justin Goldsborough. Neither team scored for the next 3:40, until Burrell made a jumper with 30 seconds remaining, his first of seven points in the final half-minute. HC hit 7-of-8 from the line in the final 23 seconds to put it away.

– In action from Friday night in New York, Steve Moundou-Missi had 22 points and eight rebounds as Harvard posted a double-overtime victory over Columbia, 88-84.

Siyani Chambers also scored 22 points for the Crimson (19-4, 6-1 Ivy), who remained tied for first place with Yale.

Longtime BC media relations director Dick Kelley succumbs to ALS

02.14.14 at 10:37 am ET
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Dick Kelley, a widely beloved figure who worked in Boston College‘s media relations office for almost a quarter-century, passed away Thursday night after a three-year battle with ALS. He was 48.

A native of Andover who graduated from BC in 1987, Kelley joined the sports information department in a full-time capacity in 1991 and remained there until he was unable to perform his duties last year due to his health.

Kelley last year was given the U.S. Basketball Writers Association’s Most Courageous Award. He was presented the award before BC’s last home game last season, when he received a standing ovation from the Conte Forum crowd along with BC’s players, coaches and athletic department staff.

“Surrounded by loving people who mean so much to me while receiving a much-more-than-I-deserved ovation from the crowd was overwhelming,” Kelley said at the time.

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BC lets one slip away at Georgia Tech

02.13.14 at 7:24 pm ET
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Marcus Georges-Hunt converted a four-point play with less than a second remaining to give Georgia Tech a 74-71 victory over Boston College on Thursday in Atlanta.

Olivie Hanlan scored 21 points for BC (6-18, 2-9 ACC), and his baseline jumper with three seconds left put the Eagles in front by one.

After a BC timeout, George-Hunt (15 points) took the inbounds pass and drove down the right side of the court, getting a pick from center Daniel Miller near midcourt. Georges-Hunt pulled up for a 3-pointer and got a touch foul on Lonnie Jackson as the ball fell through the net. Georges-Hunt hit the ensuing free throw for a three-point cushion.

Joe Rahon missed a desperation 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Miller led Georgia Tech (13-12, 4-8) with 18 points. Kammeon Holsey added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Yellow Jackets, who outrebounded BC 36-19.

Ryan Anderson contributed 13 points, four assists and four steals for the Eagles, who led 35-34 at the break and maintained a lead for most of the second half. The margin was five with just over two minutes left when Holsey hit a layup to draw Georgia Tech within three at 69-66.

Two free throws from Georges-Hunt with 1:09 left got Tech within a point, and his layup with 22 seconds remaining put his team ahead, 70-69, and set up the dramatic finish. Georgia Tech closed the game on a 10-2 run.

The game was supposed to be played Wednesday night but was postponed a day due to the winter storm that hit the Southeastern United States.

BC next hosts Notre Dame on Sunday at 6 p.m.

– In Wilmington, N.C., Northeastern went scoreless for over five minutes down the stretch as UNC-Wilmington pulled away for a 55-45 victory.

David Walker scored 18 points while Scott Eatherton had 10 points and 16 rebounds for NU (8-18, 5-7 CAA), which shot just 32 percent. UNCW (8-19, 2-10), led by 11 points from Craig Ponder, wasn’t much better at 36 percent.

NU trailed by three at the break, 23-20, but pushed ahead by five points early in the second half. However, the Huskies went scoreless for almost four minutes while the Seahawks ran off nine straight points to take a 38-34 lead midway through the period.

A layup and 3-pointer from Walker put NU back on top by one, and the Huskies again led by a point after a layup from Demetrius Pollard with 5:42 left. NU then went on another cold streak, failing to score for just over five minutes. By the time Walker ended the skid by hitting two free throws with 36 seconds remaining, UNCW had run off 12 straight points — five from Dylan Sherwood — to take an 11-point lead.

Opinion: College athletes should not be going to a classroom

02.13.14 at 2:58 pm ET
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South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, an expected top-three pick in May’s NFL draft, said he might have stayed in school if he were paid.

College student-athletes work a full-time schedule and travel more than many business professionals during the course of their seasons, yet they get paid nothing and are expected to do the same coursework as other students. Who are we kidding?

For those making the argument that student-athletes get a top-notch education for free, I ask this: Do you think all universities prepare these young men and women to make a successful transition into the workforce when they leave? If your answer is no, as I expect, this is why I think classes should not be required curriculum for student-athletes. Instead, they should complete a job internship program and life skills program during their time in college as a replacement for core courses.

The coursework currently required of Division 1 athletes gives them zero exposure to working 9 to 5, zero exposure to what it is like to network or be in a real job setting.

The academic statistics come out each year, and a big focus is on graduation rates. This number is useless. So a school has a 100 percent graduation rate — Good job, collect a piece of paper — yet 60 percent of student-athletes are unemployed! Many have zero skills to be employed, but hey, they have a fancy diploma to hang on a wall.

I love the line from Lawrence Taylor in the movie “Any Given Sunday.” His character says: “The game’s taught you how to strut, how to talk [smack], how to hit. But what else? Suddenly there’s no more money, no more women, no more applause. No more dream.”

Once the lights are out, as a close friend and mentor told me, so many young men and women struggle to make the transition into the real world. It’s a shame, because so many spend four years at top-notch schools, with access to plenty of resources and successful alumni, yet sadly they never tap into these assets.

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UMass stunned by George Mason; BU, Holy Cross post wins

02.12.14 at 9:29 pm ET
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Sherod Wright scored 22 points as George Mason, in last place in the Atlantic-10, surprised UMass, 91-80, on Wednesday night in Amherst.

Trey Davis had 20 points and six assists for the Minutemen (19-5, 6-4), who have lost four of their last seven games. Sampson Carter scored 16 points, and Cady Lalanne had 11 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Standout guard Chaz Williams had an off night, shooting just 3-of-15 (1-of-8 from behind the arc) while picking up six assists.

Bryon Allen scored 19 points while Erik Copes had 12 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks for George Mason (9-15, 2-8).

UMass trailed by 10 at the break, 42-32, and gave up the first six points of the second half. The Minutemen finally got the deficit under 10 points when Raphiael Putney hit 1-of-2 from the line with 1:53 remaining to make it 80-71. Two free throws from Davis seven seconds later closed the gap to seven, but that’s as close as it would get.

– In Hamilton, N.Y., Dom Morris scored 16 points and Boston University held off Colgate, 76-74.

BU (18-8, 11-2 Patriot) trailed by three points at the break but opened the second half with an 11-0 run. The lead peaked at 12 with 8:26 remaining. Colgate (9-15, 3-10) hit three 3-pointers down the stretch to make the game tight.

Murphy Burnatowski scored 27 points for the Raiders.

– In Worcester, Dave Dudzinzki had 26 points, seven rebounds and three steals as Holy Cross moved into sole possession of third place in the Patriot League with a 66-63 victory over Army.

Justin Burrell contributed 10 points and nine assists for the Crusaders (15-10, 9-4), who have won eight of their last nine games.

Kyle Wilson scored 23 points for Army (12-12, 8-5).

Holy Cross quickly turned its one-point halftime lead to a nine-point cushion following a 10-2 run to open the second period. Army fought back and took its only lead of the period at 51-50 on a 3-pointer by Tanner Omlid with six minutes remaining.

HC pushed back ahead by four points when Wilson hit a 3-pointer with 21 seconds left to close the gap to one. Burrell hit 4-of-4 from the free throw line to keep the Crusaders in front, and Wilson missed a potential game-tying trey with two seconds left.

– In Burlington, Vt., Ethan O’Day scored 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting as Vermont routed UMass-Lowell, 83-58.

Candon Rusin added 14 points for the Catamounts (16-9, 10-1 America East), who led by 27 points at the half, 49-22.

Akeem Williams scored 22 points for the River Hawks (8-16, 6-6).

– Due to the winter storm in the Southeastern United States, Boston College‘s game at Georgia Tech was postponed to Thursday at 5 p.m., while Northeastern’s game at UNC Wilmington was moved to Thursday at 7 p.m.

BC-Georgia Tech game moved to Thursday due to storm in Atlanta

02.12.14 at 1:46 pm ET
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Boston College‘s game at Georgia Tech scheduled for Wednesday night was moved to Thursday afternoon (time TBA) due to the winter storm affecting the Southeastern United States.

Atlanta has been crippled by the ice storm, with a state of emergency declared Tuesday. At least four other Division 1 games in Georgia and South Carolina have been postponed due to the weather.

The last time a BC game was postponed by weather was March 3, 2003, when a game against Villanova was postponed one day.

BC takes a 6-17 record (2-8 ACC) into the game against Georgia Tech (12-12, 3-8). The Yellow Jackets won the previous meeting, 68-60, on Jan. 21 at Conte Forum.

Opinion: Marcus Smart incident reinforces need for fans to be held to higher standard

02.12.14 at 9:50 am ET
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What would your reaction be if your son or daughter was playing in a basketball game (for which they were not being paid) and was called a “piece of crap” — or worse? Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart was suspended three games Sunday for shoving a spectator after reacting to such words directed at him from a grown man during Saturday night’s game in Lubbock, Texas.

As a former basketball player at Boston College, I’ve been in this situation. I will never forget going into the stands for a loose ball during a Big East road game. When I tried to get up, a fan grabbed my arm and held on for a bit while yelling something at me. It was loud and I was not focused on what he was saying, but my parents happened to be in the stands behind our bench. My father had to be redirected by stadium security because his reaction was the same as mine would have been if it was my son or daughter. He was walking toward this fan to make sure he knew that if security did not remove him, my father would do it himself if he put his hand on me again.

I’ve heard people try to make the argument that the fan from Texas Tech paid good money for his seat and he should be able to say or do whatever he wants. I ask this question to those trying to make logic out of that argument: If I pay good money to go to a game, do I have the right to curse or do anything I want regardless of if there are young children there or a parent of that player I am berating is sitting a row in front of me?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for being behind your team and making as much noise as possible, but since when is it OK to spit venom toward a college or pro athlete without any consequence? I’ve played at some of the loudest arenas — my second college basketball game was at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium — and I’ve heard plenty of hateful things directed at me and my teammates on college campuses and while sitting on the bench for the Miami Heat at visiting arenas.

But I have to say the atmosphere at pro and college games now has reached an all-time low in terms of what is said and done. Just go to an NBA or college basketball arena and you’ll see grown men and women drop f-bombs, regardless of whether there are young children nearby. Oh, wait, they paid good money, so the heck with decency and respect.

Regarding Marcus Smart’s responsibility in this incident, yes, he should not have shoved the fan. But most people, if they’re honest, would say they would have done — or at least wanted to do — the same thing if a complete stranger called them a piece of garbage or worse. Marcus Smart hopefully has learned a very valuable lesson. I hope this incident does not define him as a player or person. He’s a young man who is under a microscope because he’s been blessed with tremendous basketball skills. Three games is an excessive penalty for him.

Until the atmosphere changes at sports arenas, it is the job of police and security to make sure fans are not close enough to make contact with players. Of course, any athlete in the heat of battle — high school, college or pro — within arm’s length of a hostile person is going to have a reaction to being called something offensive. Let’s not put all the blame on Marcus Smart or even the fan; let’s put some of the blame on arena security and the schools for allowing this environment to get so hostile and sometimes dangerous for both athletes and fans.

Unfortunately, this will not be the last time a situation like this occurs. Hopefully fans, players and arena personnel responsible for security and the safety of both fans and participants will learn from this.

I end with the same question as I started: What would your reaction be if Marcus Smart was your son and you were sitting next to this fan calling him a piece of garbage?

Malcolm Huckaby, who was a guard on Boston College’s Elite Eight team in 1994, is a college basketball analyst for ESPN.

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