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BC Bests Big Green By Threes

Boston — Boston College coach Steve Donahue knows Atlantic Coast Conference opponents will certainly try and stop his team beyond the 3-point line. He hopes the difference this season is that his players can drive past people.

The Eagles concluded their nonconference schedule by coasting to a 79-58 win over Dartmouth yesterday.

Joe Rahon went 6-for-6 on 3-point attempts and scored a season-high 24 points to lead all five starters in double figures, carrying Boston College to its fifth straight victory.

Led by Rahon’s five, the Eagles hit eight of their initial 13 attempts from 3-point range in the second half to break the game open.

“This is kind of how we play, taking the 3s. We talk about what’s a good number,” Donahue said. “I think we have to play like that in this league. We have the ability to take people off the dribble with this lineup, and if we compete on the boards we’re going to be a tough team to knock out.”

Olivier Hanlan had 15 points, Ryan Anderson and Lonnie Jackson 12 and Patrick Heckmann 10 for Boston College (8-5), which opens ACC play Saturday at home against No. 23 North Carolina State.

Last season, the Eagles went 9-22 overall, including 4-13 in the ACC.

Donahue feels this season’s squad may pose a more difficult matchup for teams that are likely to be much bigger than the Eagles.

“The thing I like about this team, and I’ve never really had teams like this at Cornell or even really at BC, we have guys that have the ability to go by you,” Donahue said. “That’s critical. If you get up on us, I think that’s part of it.”

Following a somewhat lackadaisical start defensively, the Eagles’ long-range shooting and increased pressure helped them to an easy win.

Rahon, who also had a team-high five assists, went 5-for-5 on 3-point shots in the opening 10:13 of the second half.

“It was one of those days,” he said. “The first one goes in and you’re feeling good. Coach always says ‘Catch, get ready to shoot.’ I was able to do that and they were able to fall for me today.”

Connor Boehm led the Big Green (2-9) with 16 points and eight rebounds. Dartmouth lost its sixth straight game, all of them on the road.

The Big Green shot just 27.6 percent in the second half (8 of 29) and missed nine of 11 beyond the arc.

“It’s been a tough stretch. No excuse, we’re a young team,” Dartmouth coach Paul Cormier said. “We have to grow and learn. We’ve had games like this where we’re playing OK and then the (other) team wakes up and starts to turn up the pressure and we’re not ready to handle that. They approached the defense differently in the second half and we’re not ready for that.”

Boston College, which led by eight at intermission, opened its first double-digit lead when Jackson’s 3-pointer from the corner made it 46-35 just over a minute into the second half. Rahon followed with a 3 — his first of three in the opening 6 minutes of the half — on the next possession.

After a pair of baskets by the Big Green, Rahon nailed a 3 from each corner 70 seconds apart, increasing Boston College’s lead to 55-39 with 14:06 to play.

Rahon didn’t stop there — he nailed two more 3s just under a minute apart, giving the Eagles a 67-47 lead with 9:47 left.

The Eagles led by just one before scoring the final seven points of the first half to take a 41-33 edge into halftime.

It was an up-and-down first half, with neither team playing tight defense and not many fouls. The Eagles shot 51.9 percent (14 of 27) in opening half and Dartmouth hit 48 percent (12 of 25).

BC didn’t score for nearly 5 minutes at the start of the game before Rahon made a 3 from the left corner, but Dartmouth couldn’t take advantage of the Eagles’ early drought, scoring only six points in that span.

One of the loudest cheers of the game came when a fan banked in a halftime shot to win $100.