GAME NOTES: The Boston College Eagles will try to turn things around as they host the Florida Atlantic Owls at the Conte Forum in a non-conference matchup that will serve as part of the 2K Sports Challenge.
The Owls opened up their season with a rout of NAIA foe Ave Maria, but they fell to the .500 mark with a hard-fought loss to St. Francis (NY). FAU fell to 1-2 on Friday when it suffered a 97-64 setback to the Duke Blue Devils in Durham. Coach Mike Jarvis said he scheduled the game against Duke to show his players what a high-powered national program is like. The Owls could not overcome the rowdy crowd at Cameron Indoor Stadium as they quickly fell behind 15-3 and trailed by double-digits the rest of the way.
After an overtime loss at Providence in its season opener and a 13-point loss at home versus Massachusetts. the Eagles dropped to 0-3 on Thursday as they were edged, 95-92, by Toledo. Boston College had not lost its first three games to begin a campaign since 1963 when Bob Cousy was at the helm of the program. Coach Steve Donahue watched his squad let an eight-point halftime advantage slip away, despite five Eagles finishing the game with double-digit point totals.
This will be the third meeting in history between the Owls and Eagles. Boston College holds a 2-0 all-time series lead thanks to its 68-62 victory over FAU when these schools last squared off on Nov. 12, 2007.
Although FAU was blown out by the Blue Devils, it received strong play out of both senior guard Pablo Betrone and junior center Justin Raffington. Betrone struggled versus St. Francis in his previous outing as he went just 2-of-12 from the field to net nine points. The 6-foot-4 Argentinean guard stepped up his play against the ACC power to tally a season-high 17 points on 6-of-13 efficiency. The 6-9 Raffington added 14 points and eight boards, while Ricardo Morrow contributed 11 points. FAU's sophomore Jackson Trapp did not have a good trip to North Carolina, but he has shown he can get hot in a hurry as he is the team's second leading scorer with 9.7 points per game, despite averaging only 23 minutes per tilt.
FAU will need to ignore Boston College's record as the Eagles have plenty of talent on their roster. Sophomore guard Olivier Hanlan, who was the 2012-13 ACC Freshman of the Year, scored 18 points and dealt out a career-high six assists in the team's loss to the Rockets. Junior forward Ryan Anderson is carrying averages of 19.3 points and six boards per contest, while sophomore guard Joe Rahon is chipping in 12 ppg. Boston College will get better as the season progresses due to its young rotation that does not feature one senior.
Boston College has plenty of motivation to come out of the gate focused. The Eagles have lost two games to solid opponents that they could have easily won. They will make sure to put this one out of reach as early as possible to avoid another heartbreaking result.
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