CHESTNUT HILL - Ryan Anderson finished with 24 points, with 17 coming in the second half, as the Boston College Eagles played their most complete game of the season en route to a 71-68 victory over the Providence Friars on Saturday afternoon inside a crowded Conte Forum.
"I thought it was a well played game," said Eagles third-year head coach Steve Donahue. "I just thought neither team could shake the other team."
Anderson's 24 points were a team high, but Boston College (6-5) still shot 40.7 percent from the field (22-for-54). However, a major improvement from three-point range -- the Eagles made 38.8 percent of their treys (7-for-18) -- coupled with a 41-39 edge on the boards helped the Eagles outlast a feisty Friars team. Olivier Hanlan had a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds and Lonnie Jackson added eight points for BC, which has won three straight games.
"A lot of size on their team and with Dennis [Clifford] being hurt and Andrew Van Nest being out with a concussion, I just took it upon myself to try to be the force in the paint tonight, and I thought a lot of the guards came in and helped me out on the rebounds," said Anderson. "I don't know how many Olivier [Hanlan] and Joe [Rahon] had but I felt they were really in there and they were battling for a lot of rebounds for us. I thought it was just a team effort of combating their size and strength inside. That was the key to the game."
Bryce Cotton led all scorers with 33 points on 10-of-22 shooting for Providence, which finished with a shooting percentage of 36.5 for the game. Kadeem Batts, who fouled out late in the second half, was the only other Friar to reach double figures (14 points) and Josh Fortune totaled seven points.
"Credit Boston College, they probably played their best game of the year," said Friars head coach Ed Cooley. "I thought we weren't physical, I thought we were lackadaisical. I thought they just beat us in every facet of the game. I thought our rotations today, you could really see how far behind we are. ... Right now, we've just got a long way to go. This was as bad of a loss as I've ever coached."
The Eagles and Friars were deadlocked at 36 after one half of play, and neither side was able to pull away until the closing minutes when BC led by as many as six points -- 71-65 with 0:08 remaining. There were eight lead changes in the half and the score was tied five times, but the Eagles went ahead for good with just under six minutes to play. Providence falls to 8-3 on the season.
Saturday's game marked the return of Boston College sophomore center Dennis Clifford, who had not played since the end of November with a right ankle injury. Clifford totaled four points, five rebounds and two blocks over 18 minutes. Andrew Van Nest, a senior transfer, did not play in the game due to a concussion he suffered in Boston College's last game against New Hampshire.
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