CHESTNUT HILL - Ryan Anderson picked up right where he left off last season, scoring a career-high 29 points while collecting 17 rebounds as the Boston College Eagles survived a second-half surge from the Fla. International Golden Panthers on the way to a 84-70 victory in the season opener Sunday.
"It [was] a little bit of a crazy game," said Boston College head coach Steve Donahue, now in his third year. "There were times it looked like we were going to blow them out, [and] there's times when we couldn't stop them."
Boston College opened the game shooting 70 percent and finished 26-of-58 from the floor. Dennis Clifford and highly touted freshman guard Oliver Hanlan each scored 12 while Patrick Heckmann added 12 points off the bench for the Eagles. Joe Rahon, also a freshman guard, amassed five points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals in his collegiate and Eagles debut.
Jerome Frink led the Golden Panthers with 22 points and nine rebounds. Malik Smith, a Boston native, finished with 16 points and Tola Akomolafe tacked on 10 points for Florida International, which shot 39.7 percent in the defeat.
Six quick points from Hanlan pushed the Eagles out to a 12-5 lead near the 17 minute mark, and they would extend the lead to 14-8 on a dunk from Clifford less than a minute later. FlU used three straight treys to pull within two, 16-14, and would tie the game at 18 nearly two minutes later. Heckmann hit back-to-back threes to help spark an 8-0 Eagles run, making it a 26-18 lead, and Boston College would hold a comfortable advantage for the rest of the half, leading by as many as 18 points before taking a 49-33 lead into the locker room.
Florida International stepped up the intensity early in the second half, employing a full court press and leaving the Eagles in disarray while outscoring them 29-17 to open the final frame to make it a 63-62 game with just under 10 minutes left. Anderson, who had been held quiet for the first potion of the half with five points, scored four in a row to bump the BC lead to 69-65, and after two from Rahon and four straight from Heckmann, an Anderson free throw put the Eagles up 76-65, and they were able to hold on to pick up the victory.
Boston College has a couple of days off before heading to South Carolina to participate in the Charleston Classic, starting with a game on Nov. 15.
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