BOSTON -- Ryan Anderson scored seven of his game-high 29 points during a 14-2 game-clinching run to lead Boston College to an 84-70 win over Florida International in the schools' season opener on Sunday.
Anderson, voted on the Atlantic Coast Conference's all-freshman team last season, added 17 rebounds.Dennis Clifford, Olivier Hanlan and Patrick Heckmann each scored 12 points for Boston College, which spoiled FIU's Richard Pitino Jr.'s debut as head coach.Jerome Frink paced FIU with 22 points with 10 rebounds, and Malik Smith had 16 points.Pitino Jr., son of the longtime Louisville coach, was the youngest coach ever hired in FIU's basketball program when he got the job at 29-years old in April.The Panthers wiped out a 16-point halftime deficit, tying it on Smith's 3-pointer with 8:45 to play.But BC responded with its game-breaking run.Anderson started it with a short jumper from the left of the key, and followed with two free throws. After a pair of free throws by Joe Rahon, Heckmann was credited with a basket on a goaltending call and followed with a pair of free throws. Anderson then hit one of two from the line, making it 76-65 with 4 1/2 minutes to play.The Panthers never closed it below double digits the rest of the way.The Eagles, who started four freshman and a transfer player last season and finished 9-22 overall and 4-12 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, opened the game with three sophomores and two freshman.The Panthers, who lost nearly all of their scoring from last year's squad, tightened up their interior defense in the second half and used fullcourt pressure to force BC into some turnovers right from the beginning, closing the score to 51-43 on Frink's 3 just three minutes after the break.BC, which dominated the glass in the opening half, led 49-33 at intermission. The Eagles had a number of high percentage shots in the lane.In the opening half, Heckmann's consecutive 3-pointers 22 seconds apart midway in triggered a 21-8 run for BC that helped the Eagles to their big edge at intermission.The Eagles nearly grabbed as many offensive boards (10) as the Panthers had overall rebounds (13) in the first half, leading to easy second-chance baskets.