|BC falls to Virginia; Harvard rallies for OT win||01.26.13 at 7:01 pm ET|
Akil Mitchell and Justin Anderson scored 16 points apiece as Virginia ran away from Boston College in the second half for a 65-51 victory Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville, Va.
Ryan Anderson had 14 points to lead the way for BC (9-10, 1-5 ACC). Freshman guards Olivier Hanlan and Joe Rahon scored 10 each.
Virginia (14-5, 4-2) trailed by two at the half but used an 11-0 run early in the second period to take control. BC never seriously threatened thereafter.
The Eagles next host North Carolina on Tuesday night (9 p.m.).
♦ At Harvard’s Lavietes Pavilion, freshman point guard Siyani Chambers had 21 points and seven assists, and the Crimson overcame a seven-point deficit with 1:10 remaining to pull out an 82-77 overtime victory over Dartmouth.
Christian Webster (13 points) hit two 3-pointers within nine seconds to ignite the comeback for the Crimson (10-6, 2-0 Ivy), who trailed by as much as 13 in the second half. His second trey, with 32 seconds left, got his team within two points at 62-60. Following two missed free throws by Dartmouth’s John Golden, Chambers was able to break down the defense and get to the basket for a layup with 18 seconds left, tying the score. Dartmouth’s Malik Gill missed a 3-point shot with five seconds left, and Harvard forward Steve Moundou-Missi‘s halfcourt heave at the buzzer bounced off the backboard just to the right of the rim.
Laurent Rivard hit a 3-pointer to open overtime — his only field goal of the game — and the Crimson never trailed again. The Big Green cut a seven-point deficit to three with 27 seconds left after a Gill layup, but Wesley Saunders and Rivard each hit two free throws to ice it.
Saunders finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. Teammate Jonah Travis scored 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
Gill and Golden scored 15 points each for Dartmouth (4-12, 0-2), while Connor Boehm had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
♦ At Boston University’s Case Gym, Dom Morris had 19 points and eight rebounds as the Terriers rallied for an 81-75 victory over Maryland-Baltimore County.
BU trailed by five points just past the midway point of the second half before going on a 9-0 run, featuring a 3-pointer from Nathan Dieudonne (11 points) and two layups from D.J. Irving (13 points). The Terriers never trailed again.
Freshman Maurice Watson Jr. contributed 10 points, six assists and four rebounds for BU (11-10, 4-3 America East), which moved above .500 for the first time this season.
♦ In Worcester, Holy Cross’ Dave Dudzinski scored a game-high 26 points, but the cold-shooting Crusaders fell to Bucknell, 65-58.
Holy Cross (10-10, 2-3) was within four points with 4:41 left after a Dudzinski three-point play, but that was as close as it would get. Bucknell hit 10-of-12 free throws down the stretch.
|BC rally falls short at Wake Forest; Northeastern, Harvard pick up road wins||01.12.13 at 6:50 pm ET|
Wake Forest guard C.J. Harris scored 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting, and the Demon Deacons held off a late Boston College rally for a 75-72 victory Saturday afternoon in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Lonnie Jackson scored 23 points to lead the way for BC (9-7, 1-2 ACC). Olivier Hanlan scored 18, and Ryan Anderson record his fifth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
BC trailed by 10 points with 5:47 remaining before embarking on a 13-4 run, capped by a three-point play from Hanlan with just under two minutes remaining. That got the Eagles within one at 71-70. After a BC defensive breakdown led to a layup for Wake point guard Madison Jones, Joe Rahon hit two free throws to get BC back within a point, 73-72.
Following a Wake miss, BC turned over the ball, but the Demon Deacons (9-6, 2-1) returned the favor with an offensive foul on a moving pick. BC regained possession with 19.5 seconds left. BC got the ball to Rahon, but the guard could not finish his strong drive to the basket, making him 0-for-7.
Harris hit two free throws with 4.1 seconds left to make it 75-72. On BC’s ensuing inbounds pass, Wake’s Travis McKie (18 points) stole it just over midcourt, but apparently thinking the game was over, he started walking with the basketball toward the sideline. That gave BC another chance with 1.5 seconds left. The inbounds pass went to Hanlan, and his contested 3-pointer at the buzzer fell short.
BC next hosts Miami on Wednesday.
In other college basketball action involving local teams Saturday, Northeastern continued its hot start in conference play with a 70-59 victory at Towson as Joel Smith scored 21 points. The Huskies (9-7, 4-0 Colonial Athletic Association) trailed 25-13 with 8:16 left in the first half but closed the period on a 26-8 run to take control. NU is off to its best conference start since beginning 6-0 in 2008-09.
In Hanover, N.H., Harvard closed the game on a 17-2 run for a 75-65 victory over pesky Dartmouth as the Crimson began defense of their Ivy League championship. Siyani Chambers scored 22 points, Wesley Saunders netted 19, and both players had six assists. Harvard (9-2, 1-0 Ivy) shot a blistering 62.8 percent from the field and held the hosts to two points over the game’s final 9:25.
At Boston University, the Terriers got 16 points and seven assists from D.J. Irving in an 85-59 victory over Binghamton. John Papale added 14 points and nine rebounds for BU (8-9, 2-2 America East).
In Bethlehem, Pa., Holy Cross’ Justin Burrell scored 16 points, but the Crusaders could not keep up with Lehigh, falling 79-47 in their Patriot League opener. Lehigh, despite missing standout guard C.J. McCollum (broken foot), went on a 14-0 run late in the first half to take command, then shot 66.7 percent in the second half to pull away from HC (8-8).
|BC guard Joe Rahon named ACC Rookie of Week||01.07.13 at 4:04 pm ET|
Boston College guard Joe Rahon was named ACC Player of the Week on Monday.
Rahon scored 24 points in a 79-58 win over Dartmouth last Monday, hitting 7-of-8 shots — including 6-of-6 from 3-point range — and all four of his free throws and adding five assists. He then had 18 points in a 78-73 loss to 23rd-ranked NC State on Saturday.
Rahon is seventh in the ACC in assists per game at 4.1.
BC (8-6, 0-1 ACC) next plays at Virginia Tech on Wednesday and at Wake Forest on Saturday.
Across town, Harvard guard Siyani Chambers was named Ivy League Rookie of the Week for the third time. Chamber hit all five of his shots in a 16-point, seven-assist effort vs. St. Mary’s on Monday, then had 14 points and 10 assists in Saturday’s rout of Rice.
Chambers, averaging 12.6 points per game, leads the Ivy League with 6.0 assists per game. He also leads the league in free throw shooting percentage (.898) and is second in minutes per game (37.4).
|Why Harvard will/will not upset Vanderbilt in NCAA tournament||03.13.12 at 9:13 pm ET|
Harvard is not your traditional Ivy League team. Forget about back-door cuts and stalling. This team wants to take on its opponents man-to-man, and let’s find out who has the better team.
That strategy worked in the Ivy League, as Harvard’s talented front line led the way to the school’s first-ever outright title.
Now, the Crimson (26-4) turn their attention to the NCAA tournament. A 12 seed, they have a date with fifth-seeded Vanderbilt (23-10) on Thursday in Albuquerque, N.M.
Can Harvard’s athletes compete with those from one of the top teams in a major conference? It worked once this season, with a win over Florida State in November. Let’s take a closer look at why Harvard will or will not be able to duplicate that feat in the NCAA tournament.
FIVE REASONS WHY HARVARD WILL PULL OFF AN UPSET
1. Look at Vanderbilt’s recent NCAA tournament results
Only one team suffered upsets as a single-digit seed in the first round three times in the past four years. That team: Vanderbilt. The Commodores were bounced by 12th-seeded Richmond last year, by 13th-seeded Murray State in 2010, and by 13th-seeded Siena (a 21-point rout) in 2008.
Vandy coach Kevin Stallings acknowledged that last year’s loss probably was affected by the loss the year before, as the tightness and nerves returned in the second half against Richmond. What do you think will happen if Harvard has a second-half lead? Of course the Commodores will start worrying about being upset victims for a third straight year — and how that will reflect on their coach.
“I think all of us are in a place where we have our backs against the wall, especially us seniors,” swingman Jeffery Taylor told The Tennessean. “But as far as coach feeling any pressure, I don’t think so. He shouldn’t feel any pressure.
“The two teams we lost to [in the last two NCAA tournaments] were two really good teams and both of them went down to the wire. And it just happened that the other team made a couple of more plays than we did. But I don’t think that falls on the coach. I think that falls on the players.”
And it’s mainly the same players this year.
2. Forget past NCAA results, Vanderbilt has shown its vulnerability this season
Yes, the Commodores won the SEC tournament title Sunday, but Kentucky had already sewn up the top seed in the NCAA tournament and had little left to accomplish. What’s worth noting is that Vandy went 5-5 in its final 10 regular-season games, including losses to Mississippi State and Tennessee (neither of whom made the NCAA tournament). Earlier in the season, Vandy suffered nonconference losses to Cleveland State, Xavier and Indiana State — all at home.
|College basketball notebook: Harvard seeks revenge vs. Princeton||02.24.12 at 9:40 am ET|
Two weeks ago, in a game televised on ESPNU that allowed Harvard to show the nation why it deserved its Top 25 ranking, the Crimson fell flat against Princeton. The 70-62 loss knocked the Crimson out of the rankings and, more importantly, put them in a vulnerable position in the league race.
Now, Harvard heads into a huge weekend at Lavietes Pavilion, where it has won a school-record 27 consecutive games. With Princeton coming in on Friday night and second-place Penn on Saturday, Harvard (23-3, 9-1 Ivy) could clinch the title with a sweep. On the other hand, the Crimson could be out of the top spot if they are swept.
First on the docket is a chance to get revenge against Princeton (15-10, 6-3). It should help that Harvard gets the Tigers on the first night of the Friday-Saturday schedule as opposed to playing Penn and then having a quick turnaround to prepare.
“It’s going to be nice to go up against them on Friday night,” Harvard center Keith Wright said after Saturday’s win over Yale. “I can’t wait.”
Added Wright: “We always have something to prove, every night. Especially with them. We felt like we let one go down there. They were the hungrier team, they pulled it out. They deserved to win. So, we’ve just got to come back and attack harder.”
The Crimson might not come out and say it, but losing that game at Princeton had to sting more than usual. Not only did the Tigers beat Harvard on a buzzer-beater in a one-game playoff to earn the league’s NCAA tournament berth last season, the Crimson have not won at Jadwin Gym since 1989. Princeton fans stormed the court after the game.
“They’ve been an outstanding team and program in this league forever,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. “They’re always going to have a swagger, I think, about who they are. We’ve always had our hands full, as we all know.”
|BC, Harvard turn attention to NIT||03.13.11 at 9:21 pm ET|
Disappointment for Boston College and Harvard after being passed over by the NCAA selection committee will have to be short-lived if those teams want to avoid first-round exits in the 32-team NIT. The teams were placed in the same regional and open play Tuesday night. (Here’s the NIT bracket.)
Top-seeded BC plays at McNeese State, while sixth-seeded Harvard plays at No. 3 seed Oklahoma State.
BC coach Steve Donahue said Sunday night the Eagles might be able to get more from a longer NIT run than a brief appearance in the NIT.
“Winning in general, if you make this a great run here, these kids will never forget this — NIT or NCAA,” he said before learning of his NIT opponent. “We can make this a very special experience for these guys. I think I went to nine NCAA tournaments and only advanced twice. The seven other times were hard. It’s rough. You’re in and out of that and it’s over.
“So, if you have a chance to accomplish a real good goal and beat somebody — which we’ll probably play on the road — and advance in this tournament, I think it’s a great chance to have an experience you’ll never forget. That’s obviously the way we’re going to approach it.”
BC senior Joe Trapani didn’t sound like he would be taking the NIT appearance for granted.
“We’re going to have an opportunity in the NIT to keep this thing going,” Trapani said. “We’ve still got something to prove. We’re not ready to have this season end.”
|Tourney talk: Harvard’s Ivy playoff would be Saturday in New Haven||03.07.11 at 6:47 pm ET|
The Ivy League announced Monday that if Harvard and Princeton end up tied atop the league standings, a one-game playoff will be held at Yale on Saturday at 4 p.m. to determine the league’s representative in the NCAA tournament.
The game would become necessary if Princeton wins at Penn on Tuesday night. Harvard already has clinched a tie for the title with its win over the Tigers on Saturday night. If they had to play in New Haven on Saturday, the Crimson would return to the site of their only league loss outside of Princeton, as Yale pulled out a one-point decision on Feb. 26.
|Tourney talk: Harvard takes big step toward NCAAs by beating Princeton||03.05.11 at 10:01 pm ET|
Harvard clinched a share of the Ivy League title with Saturday night’s 79-67 victory over Princeton. However, the Crimson (23-5, 12-2 Ivy) still need Princeton (23-6, 11-2) to lose another game — be it Tuesday at Penn or in a one-game playoff with Harvard — before an NCAA tournament berth is guaranteed.
That didn’t stop the celebration at Harvard, as fans stormed the court to revel in the program’s first-ever league title.
“I’m thrilled and incredibly proud for this moment,” Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said.
A number of former Harvard players — including current Golden State Warriors guard Jeremy Lin, the star of last year’s Crimson — attended the game, while other sent messages of support to the team.
“We’re not doing it just for us, we’re doing it for them,” said guard Brandyn Curry, who had 10 points and 10 assists.
Kyle Casey (Medway/Brimmer & May) led the Crimson effort with 24 points before fouling out with 1:36 remaining. He had the play of the night, a monstrous dunk off a baseline drive while being fouled with 16:48 remaining that sent the sold-out crowd into a frenzy.
“I tried to tear the rim off,” he explained. “It was pretty successful.”
Added Curry: “That was a SportsCenter top 10 for sure.”
Just like the last time these teams met — a 65-61 Princeton victory on Feb. 4 — Harvard led by a point at the half. And just like last time, a player was fouled shooting a 3-pointer just before the break. Harvard freshman Laurent Rivard, who last time was the one who committed the bad foul, this time was the beneficiary. His three free throws with one second left gave the Crimson a 37-36 advantage.
|Ex-Harvard coach lauds Donahue hire||04.06.10 at 11:33 pm ET|
Steve Donahue, set to be introduced as Boston College’s new basketball coach Wednesday, may be an unrecognizable face to those at BC, but there are some in the Boston area who are quite familiar with the man who guided Cornell to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16 last month.
Frank Sullivan, who coached at Harvard from 1991-2007, has known Donahue for two-plus decades, as the two regularly crossed paths in the Ivy League. Donahue made a name for himself as an assistant coach at Penn from 1990-2000, which included the Quakers’ run of five league titles (plus one tie) in eight years from 1993-2000. Donahue took over at Cornell in 2000 and, after six losing seasons, turned things around the last four, including three straight league titles.
As Donahue prepares to make the leap to the ACC, Sullivan said he understands why BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo decided to go with the 47-year-old over two former BC assistants — Fairfield coach Ed Cooley and Northeastern mentor Bill Coen.
“I think it’s a marvelous choice,” said Sullivan, now the associate commissioner of the America East Conference. “He’ll be honest, straightforward, candid — he’ll represent all the good values that have percolated in the recent success of [national finalist] Butler — and Cornell.
“He’s an excellent technical coach and he puts a high premium on the quality of the relationships with his players.”
That was evident in the comments from Donahue’s former players at Cornell, after he told the team Tuesday that he was leaving for BC.
“Anytime somebody leaves like that, it’s hard to swallow,” Cornell guard Louis Dale told The Associated Press. “But you, at the same time, were such a fan of Coach Donahue that we’re BC fans now. We want to see him do well.”
Cornell athletic director Andy Noel also said he’s now rooting for the Eagles.
“I told the folks at BC that they made a great hire,” Noel told the AP. “Our university really wanted to keep Steve. I’m a little heartbroken, but we turn the page and become a BC fan forever. … We’re appreciative that we had a decade with Steve Donahue.”
While critics of former BC coach Al Skinner point to Skinner’s work habits and his lack of a presence on the recruiting trail, Sullivan said that won’t be the case with Donahue.
“He’ll be a very visible head coach, engaged very much in the process of recruiting,” Sullivan said. “As much as the assistants do much of the legwork, Steve did a lot of the legwork himself, did a lot of the travel himself. He’s not necessarily be the lead recruiter, but he had a strong presence in the recruiting process.
“When you’d see him at AAU events, he would be the first guy there and the last guy to leave. And those events run from 9 in the morning until 11 at night.”
That said, Sullivan noted that Division 1 coaches are limited in how much interaction they can have with recruits, so don’t put too much emphasis on that part of the job.
“You can’t outwork anybody in the business because there’s restrictions,” Sullivan said. “So, it becomes how you develop relationships.”
Donahue will need to be able to delegate responsibilities and manage his staff well. That should be a strong point for the Philadelphia-area native, who reportedly has confirmed one hire so far: Nat Graham, a former Penn player who was Donahue’s top assistant at Cornell.
“He’ll have as strong an infrastructure as anyone would expect, in terms of people and resources,” Sullivan said. “If you’re in a league like the Ivy, you’re still mom and pop in a lot of ways. You don’t have the degree of sophistication you’ll see in the ACC. But he’s a smart guy, and he’s the type of guy people will like. He’s likable, but he’s also assertive.”
The list of coaches who have gone from the Ivies to bigger conference and had success is a short one, partly due to the fact that Penn and Princeton have dominated league play for many years and did not have much turnover at the top. Two of the success stories are John Thompson III, who left Princeton for Georgetown and has guided the Hoyas to the postseason six straight seasons, and Donahue’s former boss at Penn, Fran Dunphy, who has taken Temple to the NCAAs in three of his four seasons there (Donahue’s Cornell team knocked off Temple in the first round last month).
Sullivan said he believes Donahue can join that list with his combination of effort and integrity. “He’s a basketball lifer with tremendous values,” Sullivan said. “I think he’ll be great for BC.”
|NU beats Harvard, 4-1, for Beanpot consolation||02.08.10 at 8:03 pm ET|
Tyler McNeely scored twice while Wade McLeod and Greg Costa added single tallies as the Northeastern Huskies beat Harvard, 4-1, to claim the consolation game of the Beanpot tournament on Monday at TD Garden.
McLeod also assisted on McNeely’s second goal, a power play score 6:29 into the third that gave Northeastern a 3-1 advantage.
McLeod scored an empty-netter with 1:49 remaining to seal the win. Northeastern improved to 14-12-1 while Harvard fell to 6-14-3.