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.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- 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.
STAT OF THE GAME:
- +5 – BC outscored North Carolina, 13-8, in fast breakpoints.
FOR THE ANALYTICS CROWD:
- 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.