Freshman guard Olivier Hanlan scored 19 points, including the game-winning free throw with 19 seconds remaining, and Boston College snapped a three-game losing streak with a 50-49 victory over Auburn on Thursday afternoon at Conte Forum.
Auburn senior guard Frankie Sullivan (23 points, eight rebounds) had tied the game on a four-point play with 46 seconds left. Hanlan then was fouled driving the lane, and he hit the first of two for the winning point.
On Auburn's final possession, Sullivan was stripped by Joe Rahon and Hanlan while trying to shoot the ball with four seconds left. Auburn senior center Rob Chubb (12 points) dove to the floor with Rahon as the ball headed out of bounds and got it back to Sullivan, but Sullivan's 30-foot heave at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim.
Rahon said he was seeking redemption on BC's final defensive stand after fouling Sullivan on his four-point play.
"I knew they were going to go to him, they would go to [Sullivan] on the last play," Rahon said. "He was my man and I just knew I had to get a stop to make up for that boneheaded play I made. [Hanlan] came in, had a great help. We jarred the ball loose and we were able to get a stop when we needed."
Hanlan was the only Eagle to shoot the ball well, hitting 7-of-11 shots. He also had six rebounds. Rahon, his classmate and backcourt mate, finished with 15 points.
When Hanlan scored on a drive down the middle of the lane with 3:56 left to extend BC's lead to seven, 47-40, the Eagles (2-3) appeared to have the game in control. But Auburn (2-3) answered with a Noel Johnson 3-pointer and two free throws from Chubb to draw within a pair, 47-45 with 1:52 left.
BC then missed a 3-pointer but got another possession when Eddie Odio came down with an offensive rebound. Rahon made it count, hitting a nice reverse lauyup with 1:03 left to make it a four-point game.
However, Rahon then fouled Sullivan while he hit a 3-pointer. The four-point play tied the game at 49 with 46 seconds left.
The game was tight throughout. With 12:14 remaining, BC led 35-32 after a layup by Sullivan drew Auburn within three. BC then hit consecutive 3-pointers (Patrick Heckmann and Rahon), which in this game constituted a major run. That gave the hosts a 41-32 advantage. Auburn went almost five minutes without a point, failing to score again until 7:22 remained, when Sullivan hit two free throws following three BC fouls in three seconds.
Auburn led by a point at the half, 26-25, after Sullivan drilled a 3-pointer with a second left. The Eagles shot an impressive 5-of-12 from 3-point range in the period but just 4-for-16 on shots inside the arc, and 2-of-6 on free throws. The starting trio of Ryan Anderson, Dennis Clifford and Lonnie Jackson combined to shoot 0-for-10.
Anderson, who missed the Eagles' last game with an injured foot, struggled in this one. He had a poor shooting night and battled foul trouble in the second half. With 16:30 left, he was headed to the bench after picking up his third foul when he got his fourth on a technical foul for arguing with Auburn guard Shaquille Johnson. He returned with 6:31 left but fouled out less than two minutes later with three points and seven rebounds. He missed all five of his field goal attempts and hit 3-of-6 free throws.
The game was listed as a non-bracketed (and predetermined) game of the Charleston Classic. BC went 0-3 in the three games in South Carolina, while Auburn went 1-2 there.
The Eagles next host Bryant on Sunday at 2 p.m.