Men's Basketball

Seminoles Overcome Quick Start From Hanlan And Co. To Beat BC

Despite a slow start and 23 first-half points for Olivier Hanlan, Florida State took care of BC in the second.

Olivier Hanlan dribbles around the perimeter, looking in at the paint. The man is on fire. A guy who normally waits until the second half to heat up already has 17 of his team’s 23 points, while Florida State only has 16 points of its own. The Seminoles have inexplicably left one defender on Hanlan for the majority of the first half, but they finally stick two guys in front of him to block his way. With no place to go, he gives up the rock, swinging the ball up to Patrick Heckmann at the top of the key. Here we go, Heck.

Critics can place the blame for Boston College’s men’s basketball season on almost every facet of the team’s game. Poor 3-point shooting? Check. Weak defense? Sure. Inability to finish around the hoop or make free throws down the stretch? Watch the Miami or Pittsburgh game highlights.

Dive deeper into the scorebook, and they can attack BC’s rebounding or turnover totals. But, no longer can anyone question Hanlan and his value to the team. He has averaged 27.6 points in BC’s past five games, and put up his second consecutive 32-point game on Wednesday night. And the Eagles haven’t taken advantage.

It was FSU (15-12, 7-7 ACC) that played along with the Eagles in their most recent tease. The Seminoles did all they could to give BC (9-16, 1-12 ACC) the advantage early on, committing seven turnovers before they surpassed two points on the scoreboard. Yet, BC held just a five-point advantage at half, and didn’t hold a lead for the final 10 minutes of the game. The Eagles came up on the short end of the free throw trades (per usual), and only a softly-contested Aaron Brown layup in the waning seconds allowed BC to finish with the single-digit, 69-60 loss.

The Eagles have now lost seven straight ACC games, a feat they didn’t reach even in last year’s ugly season. The most painful part has been the number of winnable games during the stretch—the worst coming in a double overtime loss against Miami on Monday.

BC’s leading scorer in that game, behind Hanlan’s 32? Heckmann, with 13 points.

The German receives the pass from Hanlan, awkwardly clutching the ball at his side. A defender stands four feet off him, leaving him plenty of space. Heckmann observes the scene for a second before jerking the ball up to his chest—a shot fake, be it an ugly one—before taking a step to his right.

His defender, barely fazed by the weak fake, stays in front of him, cutting off the lane. Heckmann stops short, and dishes back to Hanlan, who still stands on the perimeter. He doesn’t hesitate, taking advantage of the few open feet in front of him to drive inside. Two big men cut off the penetration, so Hanlan passes out to an open Brown in the corner. C’mon, Aaron.

While FSU finally wised up after halftime and generally shut down Hanlan, he finally started to receive some help. Brown came out strong, getting a dunk and a layup in quick succession to help maintain BC’s slim lead.

Ultimately, it wasn’t nearly enough. FSU’s Devon Bookert led the way with 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting, while Phil Cofer and Xavier Rathan-Mayes tacked on 13 points each. The Seminoles finished with two more turnovers than BC but out-rebounded the Eagles 32-26, a consistent trend this season.

Brown finished with 15 points but needed 14 shots to do it. No other player attempted more than four shots.

Brown catches the pass and drives along the baseline toward the basket. His path is blocked by an FSU duo, so he cuts left and puts up a part-runner, part-floater before he loses his balance and crashes down on the court. The shot doesn’t go in—it rarely seems to in these instances. No serious contact occurred, no whistle blows. FSU grabs the rebound.

Hanlan looks defeated as he runs back down the court. There’s only so much the guy can do.

Featured Image by Arthur Bailin / Heights Editor

February 19, 2015
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