Fresh off a satisfying 73-61 victory against the Penn State Nittany Lions in last week’s ACC/Big 10 Challenge, the Eagles return home Dec. 4 to host the Harvard Crimson in the annual matchup between in-state rivals.
The Eagles have lost four straight against their familiar Ivy League foe dating back to 2009, including a 67-46 blowout in last year’s game.
This unusual losing streak to an opponent that was previously viewed as an automatic win should be somewhat disconcerting to the BC basketball program.
Harvard has vastly improved their basketball program in recent years, but there is no reason for Boston College, a team that competes in the ACC against the nation’s most talented players on a yearly basis, to consistently lose to Ivy League level competition.
With this in mind, you can bet that game has been circled on the Eagle’s schedule since day one.
Lucky for the Eagles, the team appears to be coming together at just the right moment. Freshmen guards Olivier Hanlan and Joe Rahon have found their stride and sophomore Ryan Anderson continues to be a steadying presence at forward.
In the Penn State contest, Hanlan recorded 22 points and was 15-19 from the free throw line. While he wasn’t particularly effective from the field (3-9), his ability to draw fouls and score from the charity stripe displays his multifaceted style of play.
Hanlan can find ways to score, whether it is inside the paint or outside the three point line. It is clear that Hanlan will be the Eagle’s leading scorer just a few games into the young season, and his ability to put points on the board will only improve with time.
Look for a motivated Eagle’s team to take the court Tuesday night, hoping to avenge four years’ worth of disappointment against the Harvard Crimson. The Eagle’s appear to be gelling as the season begins to gather steam, and wins against teams like Harvard are exactly what a young squad like the Eagles need early in the season. A win Tuesday night would provide a huge confidence boost for this team, and it would give them momentum as the formidable ACC schedule inches closer.