AU Basketball loses heartbreaker at Boston College

Frankie Sullivan's long 3-pointer front-rimmed as Boston College held on for a 50-49 victory after a furious Auburn rally in the Conte Forum in  the non-bracketed Charleston Classic Finale on Wednesday.

Sullivan, who had a team-high 23 points and eight rebounds, brought the Tigers back from a seven-point deficit with just over three minutes to play. He had a huge four-point play on a 3-pointer from downtown Boston to tie the game at 49 with 46.1 seconds to go.

Olivier Hanlan, who scored a career-high 19 points on 3-of-5 threes to lead Boston College, split a pair of free throws with 19.1 seconds left to give the Eagles the game-deciding point.

"I'm extremely proud of the effort and the way we came back, but the biggest part of the game was Boston College's offensive rebounds," said Barbee of the Eagles who had an 11-5 advantage on the Tigers. "(On the last play) We set a ball screen for Frankie, and he dribbled into the lane and they doubled him. He got the ball back and his shot was on line but fell just short."

After Sullivan scored the first bucket of the second half, Boston College went on an 10-0 run to take a 35-28 lead four minutes after the half. Two-straight 3s by the Eagles gave them a 41-33 lead with 9:22 left.

Sullivan scored the Tigers' first 11 points of the second half to bring them to within 41-37 with 6:54 to play before Allen Payne's conventional 3-point play brought the Tigers to within 43-40 with 6:31 left.

BC went ahead 47-40 on Hanlan's bucket with 3:56 left, but a Noel Johnson 3 from the corner closed the Tigers to within four with 3:07 left followed by a pair of Rob Chubb free throws to bring Auburn to within 47-45 with 1:52 remaining. Joe Rahon's reverse layup in traffic with a minute left put the Eagles back up by four. Sullivan's four-point play then tied it.

Both teams are now 2-3 overall.

Auburn made six of its first nine shots to open the game while Boston College scored its first nine points all on 3-pointers and neither team led by more than four points in a closely contested first half. The Eagles took the first half's largest lead at 25-21 with 2:48 to go, but Auburn closed on a 5-0 run to take a 26-25 lead after Sullivan drained a 3-pointer just before the shot clock expired with 1.2 seconds left.

It marked the Tigers' first halftime lead of the season and the play came after a called time out by Barbee with 35.7 seconds on the clock.

Auburn outshot Boston College from the field 42.2 percent to 36.2 percent while the Eagles were 8-of-22 from the floor to the Tigers' 4-of-13. Auburn was 7-of-13 from the foul line after missing its first six while Boston College was 8-of-15. BC outrebounded Auburn 35-28.

Chubb added 12 points for the Tigers and Payne had seven points and six boards. Rahon added 15 for the Eagles.

The Tigers return home for the first time in 16 days to play host to Rhode Island on Sunday at 4 pm Central.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Auburn Athletics Dept.