Freshmen lead Boston College past New Hampshire
BOSTON (AP)—Freshmen Rakim Sanders scored 22 points and Biko Paris added 19 to lead Boston College to a 67-57 win over New Hampshire in the schools’ opener on Saturday.
BC, which finished 21-12 last season for its sixth 20-win season in the past seven, lost last year’s Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Jared Dudley and guard Sean Marshall to graduation.
The Eagles were also without starters Tyrese Rice and Shamari Spears, both suspended for one game after inadvertently violating an NCAA rule by playing in an unsanctioned basketball competition. But Sanders, Paris, and fellow freshmen Corey Raji and Josh Southern scored all but two of the Eagles’ points in the second half as they overcame a bit of a scare from the scrappy Wildcats.
Tyrece Gibbs led New Hampshire with 22 points, 17 in the first half when the Wildcats overcame a 15-point deficit to lead by two at halftime, 28-26.
The game was tied at 41 before Raji’s free throw with 12:12 to play gave BC the lead for good. Sanders scored nine of BC’s next 14 points to help the Eagles pull ahead 56-51 with 4:43 left.
UNH closed within 58-55 on Alvin Abreu’s 3-pointer with 3:31 left, but that was as close as it got.
BC took advantage of New Hampshire’s poor shooting in the first half for some easy transition baskets to open a 20-5 lead 8 1/2 minutes into the game. The Wildcats missed their first six shots and made just two of the next 11 before Gibbs started hitting 3-pointers to spark a comeback.
The Wildcats responded by outscoring the Eagles 23-6 to close the half. Gibbs hit three 3-pointers during the run.
The game was a matchup of two young teams. BC played four freshman and two sophomores in the eight-man rotation, and the Wildcats used five freshman and a sophomore.