Hartford stuns BC again, 79-78 in OT.
BOSTON (AP) — Senior Jason Dunne needed a different kind of three to give his team a chance at another stunning win over Boston College.
Dunne hit three free throws to send the game to overtime before J.R. Lynch scored seven of his 26 points in OT, carrying Hartford to its second upset win over Boston College in three years — 79-78 on Monday despite a career-high 44 points by the Eagles’ Ky Bowman.
Two years ago, the Hawks (7-8) stunned BC in Conte Forum when Dunne nailed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds for Hartford’s first-ever win over an Atlantic Coast Conference school.
Hartford coach John Gallagher didn’t remind his team about that game until it went into halftime with a three-point edge.
“I had to remind them: ‘We’ve done this before, here’s how we did it and we’re going to do it again,’” Gallagher said. “It’s the only time I brought it up.”
Trailing 69-66 late in regulation, Dunne was fouled on a missed 3-point shot by Jordan Chatman with 4.1 seconds left. He calmly went to the line and swished all 3, tying it at 69.
“It’s a crazy feeling,” said Dunne, who finished with 23 points. “Same routine. I’ve been shooting it well from the foul line. I trusted myself from the foul line.”
Nik Popovic had 13 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out in overtime for the Eagles (9-3), who had their three-game win streak snapped. Bowman added 10 boards, but had seven turnovers.
“It’s our team’s job to take ownership for it,” BC coach Jim Christian said. “This is basketball. They outplayed us. They probably got 30 loose balls that we didn’t get.”
Lynch was fouled by Popovic on a driving basket and hit the free throw, giving the Hawks a 77-74 edge with 1:14 left in OT. He hit 1 of 2 free throws to make it 78-75 with 19.7 seconds left.
Bowman then missed a desperation 3 before Travis Weatherington’s free throw made it a four-point lead.
Bowman capped his day with a 3 at the buzzer.
Dunne’s 3 from the top of the key had given the Hawks a 64-62 edge with 3:25 to play in regulation.
Bowman made 7 of 8 free throws in the final 2:36, the last two gave BC a three-point lead with eight seconds left.
Bowman kept BC close at the start of the second half, scoring the Eagles’ initial nine, and 13 of their first 17, points.
Hartford led 33-30 at halftime, taking advantage of some sloppy play that led to 11 Eagles’ turnovers.
Hartford: The Hawks had a strong 11-5 regular-season record in the America East last season. They showed good poise Monday and could build on this game when they open league play.
Boston College: The Eagles struggled through injuries to some of their starters during most of their nonconference schedule. To be able to compete in the ACC, they likely can’t afford to go deep into what looks like a limited bench.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The team that’s the most excited in overtime wins,” Gallagher said. “I told the group: ‘We’re the most excited group and the most excited group wins in overtime, so let’s go!’”
BC committed 19 turnovers and gave up 11 offensive rebounds.
“If they don’t play tougher, the impact gets better,” Christian said. “The guys’ will to win on both sides of the ball needs to grow.”
BC forward Steffon Mitchell missed the game with a quad injury and freshman guard Wynston Tabbs was limited to nine minutes in the first half due to a left leg injury.
When Tabbs came out of the game, he spent some time on an exercise bike next to the media table but was unable to return to action. He had a noticeable limp and his left knee was wrapped.
Hartford: Hosts defending conference champ UMBC in its league opener on Jan. 9.
Boston College: At Virginia Tech Saturday afternoon in its ACC opener.