Jan. 11, 1998
Connecticut Erases Second Half Deficit to Beat Boston College
BOSTON (AP) - Five different Connecticut players helped erase a seven-point deficit in the second half against Boston College on Sunday. Then the Huskies turned things over to Richard Hamilton.
"We fought so hard to make up the deficit, and we didn't want to give up the lead," Hamilton said after scoring a career-high 38 points - including 10 straight for UConn as the eighth-ranked Huskies beat BC 80-68.
"I just feel like I've got to go out and prove a point. I feel confident every game. Whatever I need to do for my team to win, I feel like I've got to go out and do it."
Hamilton made 4-of-6 3-pointers and added seven rebounds for UConn (14-2, 4-1 Big East). Kevin Freeman scored 18 with nine rebounds as the Huskies bounced back from a loss to Miami with their 19th consecutive victory over BC (8-8, 1-5).
The last time the Eagles beat UConn was Feb. 23, 1988. Both senior center Mickey Curley, who did not play because of a sprained ankle, and his older brother Billy, who came to BC in 1990 and is now with the Minnesota Timberwolves, matriculated and graduated from BC without seeing the Eagles beat the Huskies.
Duane Woodward scored 21 points with eight rebounds and Antonio Granger added 20 points as BC (8-8, 1-5) lost its fourth consecutive game. The Eagles shot 59 percent from the field and opened a 12-point lead in the first half, but had just two offensive rebounds and was outrebounded overall 31-18.
"We definitely wore down," said first-year BC coach Al Skinner. "We're putting forth the effort, but if we're going to go this far, let's try to win these things."
BC led 49-42 when Freeman made a free throw, Hamilton added a steal and layup and, after a BC basket, Monquencio Hardnett picked off a pass and Jake Voskuhl scored on an assist by Khalid El-Amin. El-Amin made a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 53-50, then Hardnett made a jumper to bring UConn within one with 11:36 left to play.
From there, it was all Hamilton. He hit a 3-pointer, and after BC tied it 55-all he added a jumper, a layup and another 3-pointer to give the Huskies the lead for good. By the time the 26-10 run was over, UConn led 68-59.
"We don't like to put a lot of pressure on him. But when he's going like that, I think we've got to find a way to get him the ball," Hardnett said. "When he's on, I don't think there's anyone in the country that can stop him."
UConn took a 14-7 lead, but BC answered with 25 of the next 31 points - 13 of them from Granger - to make it 32-20 with 5:25 left in the first half.
The Eagles led by 11 when UConn went on a 12-5 run to finish the half.
"They were very hot at the beginning," Freeman said. "But, like coach said, eventually they'll wear down."