Hamilton’s Free Throws Push Eagles Past Carolina, 71-70

Hamilton's free throws

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Jared Hamilton’s two free throws with 17 seconds remaining proved to be the difference in Boston College’s 71-70 win at North Carolina on Saturday night.

Hamilton, who was clearly fouled while attempting a 3-pointer in front of the Eagles’ bench, finished with a team-high 18 points.  The win by the Eagles snapped a 12-game losing streak vs. the Tar Heels, which dated back 10 years to the date.

The Eagles led 7-6 early on, making three of its first five shots from the floor.  UNC would rally with a 6-2 push, taking a 12-10 lead with 12:00 left in the first half.  BC committed five turnovers over a 4:20 span.

Tied at 18-18 at the 7:51 mark, the Eagles used the long-ball to take a 26-22 lead with 3:47 left in the half.  BC was plagued by three more turnovers down the final 2:07 of the period but maintained a 32-30 lead at the break.

BC maintained its intensity after halftime, outscoring Carolina, 9-2, through the first 4:23 of play in the second half.  The run extended to 13-5, capped by a Nik Popovic layup, making it a 10-point game – 45-35 – with 13:38 to go.

After a Jay Heath traditional 3-point play made it 48-38 with 12:12 left, the Tar Heels responded with 11 unanswered, taking a 49-48 lead with 9:42 left.  Once again, the Eagles would not back down.  A jumper from Jared Hamilton, a 3-pointer from Popovic, and Derryck Thornton’s first FG of the night sparked a 7-0 run over the next 1:06 as BC led 55-49 with 8:23 to go.

Carolina’s last push – a 13-4 run over the next 3:02 – gave it a 66-63 lead with 3:01 to go.  But five straight points from Thornton, including a free throw with 45 ticks left, gave BC a 69-68 lead.  UNC star freshman Cole Anthony put the Heels back up one – 70-69 – with 30 seconds to go, before Hamilton was fouled and headed to the line for the game-winner.


  • Four BC players tallied double figures on the night, led by Jared Hamilton’s 18.
  • Jared Hamilton was 6-of-12 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.  He made 3-of-4 from the free-throw line.  The senior added three boards and two steals.
  • Derryck Thornton scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half.
  • The senior point guard knocked down his last four FG attempts and 7-of-8 from the foul line.  He added three boards and three assists.
  • Jay Heath had 12 points (5-10 FG) and six assists.
  • Nik Popovic added 10 points (4-5 FG; 1-1 3FG), eight boards, and four steals.
  • CJ Felder added six points, four boards, and two blocks.
  • Steffon Mitchell corralled eight rebounds to go with five points and two assists.
  • Jairus Hamilton had five points and five rebounds.
  • For the game, BC shot 46.4% (26-56) from the floor, including 7-of-18 from the perimeter.
  • The Eagles knocked down 12-of-17 from the line – including 9-of-12 in the second half.
  • The win snapped BC’s longest active losing streak – 12 games – versus an opponent.


  • +5 – BC outscored North Carolina, 13-8, in fast breakpoints.


  • Nik Popovic led BC with an efficiency rating of 20.
  • Jared Hamilton checked in at 16, while Steffon Mitchell had an EFF mark of 11 and Jay Heath 10.
  • Efficiency rating is calculated using the following formula: (PTS + REB + AST + STL + BLK – Missed Shots – TO)


  • Boston College closes out its regular-season series with Duke on Tuesday night in Chestnut Hill.
  • Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will air live on ESPN. Rece Davis, Jon Crispin, and Brooke Weisbrod have the call.
  • The game can also be heard live on the Boston College Learfield IMG College Sports Network with Josh Maurer and Danya Abrams on WEEI 850 AM.
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