GAME NOTES: The Auburn Tigers continue a four-game homestand on Sunday afternoon, as they welcome the Boston College Eagles to Auburn Arena for a non-conference matchup.
Tony Barbee's Tigers are 5-3 on the season, with all five wins coming at home. Auburn opened its current homestand with another ACC squad just three days ago, topping Clemson, 66-64.
Wins have been hard to come by for Steve Donahue's Eagles. Boston College is three games under .500 at 4-7 on the year, although they do enter this contest off a 67-50 drubbing of Philadelphia College last weekend.
This series is knotted up at 1-1. The Tigers won the first meeting, but the Eagles were able to tie things up with a 50-49 win last season at BC.
Boston College opened the game against Philadelphia College with a 12-4 run and although Philadelphia cut into the lead, a 9-4 run to close out the half to re-establish control. The Eagles were led in the scoring column by Olivier Hanlan, who netted 14 points. Alex Dragicevich added 12 points, Ryan Anderson registered his 17th career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds and Will Magarity chipped in with 10 points off the bench.
The Eagles really haven't had many problems at the offensive end of the floor this season, averaging 75.9 ppg, on a steady .460 shooting. BC has also made a habit of making foes pay for sending it to the free-throw line, ranking third nationally in free-throw percentage (.800). Coming off a stellar freshman season a year ago, Hanlan hasn't slowed down and leads the team in scoring this season at 19.4 ppg. Anderson is the perfect complement up front with 16.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Joe Rahon adds to the perimeter depth with 10.6 ppg. The real issues for BC come defensively, where the Eagles allow a generous 78.5 ppg.
A back and forth battle in the second half featured six ties, but Auburn was able to earn the lead for good with under a minute to play and earned a hard- fought two-point win over Clemson. Chris Denson led the team with a game-high 19 points. KT Harrell added 14 points for the Tigers, who shot a solid .473 from the floor.
The Tigers lack the kind of scoring depth necessary to make a run at the SEC title this season, but the team does possess one of the league's top one-two scoring punches in Denson and Harrell. Denson is shooting over 52 percent from the floor, pouring in 19.8 ppg. Harrell isn't fart behind with just under 18 points per game (17.9). Tahj Shansid-Deen is a distant third in the scoring column for Auburn at 8.6 ppg.
Boston College lacks the necessary grit at the defensive end to win in a tough SEC venue. The Tigers should once again lean on Denson and Harrell and keep piling up the home wins when they can.
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