Men’s Basketball (3-5, 0-0 ACC) suffered a bad loss Monday night, falling to their in-state rival Harvard (4-3, 0-0 Ivy) by 16 points. This was BC’s fifth consecutive loss to the Crimson.
Sophomore forward Ryan Anderson led the team in scoring with 23 points, going 11-12 from the field. Freshman guard Joe Rahon recorded 12 points in 34 minutes of play. Sophomore Lonnie Jackson provided a spark of the bench, going 2-4 from three point range and totaling 11 points on the night.
Olivier Hanlan, the surprise story of the season thus far, struggled on both sides of the ball against the Crimson. He managed only four points in 33 minutes of play, going 1-8 from the field. His defensive effort was also missing and it showed in the opponent’s box score. He allowed opposing freshman guard Siyani Chambers to score 21 points, so Coach Steve Donahue benched Hanlan early in the first half for his lack of effort on the defensive end.
The Eagles did suffer a significant loss prior to the matchup against the Crimson, however, as starting center and team captain Dennis Clifford was unable to participate due to an ankle sprain. Clifford was spotted on the sideline in a walking boot prior to tip-off, recuperating from an injury suffered against the Penn State Nittany Lions on Nov. 28. His seven-foot presence was sorely missed in this game, as the Eagles struggled to replace his skill set all night.
Ryan Anderson performed well, netting 23 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks in 33 minutes of play. He came out of the gate quickly, hitting his first five shots and missing only once on the night. This was Anderson’s best game since suffering an early season ankle injury that caused him to average only 7.8 points over his previous four games.
BC Basketball’s five game losing streak to the Harvard Crimson is certainly something to be worried about. While the Crimson are a good program, they are a young team that suffered some serious losses of their own due to a cheating scandal involving two of their best players back in August of this year. As an ACC program, the BC Eagles have no reason to lose to the Ivy League Harvard Crimson five times in a row.
Coach Donahue must shore up his team’s defense in the coming games if the Eagles hope to find the win column. The defensive struggles were due in part to the injury of Clifford, but the perimeter defense is still an area of concern for the future.
The loss to Harvard was assuredly an off game for BC—Hanlan will find his offensive rhythm soon and this is the first time Ryan Anderson has been healthy in several weeks. Once Clifford is able to find his way back onto the court, expect the Eagles to score a lot of points and play solidly on the defensive end.
The Eagles’ next game is against the St. Francis Terriers on Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. in Conte Forum.