Eagles slip past Yellow Jackets in tourney opener

Hanlan again proves nemesis to Georgia Tech

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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- Olivier Hanlan hit a jumper with 10.9 seconds left to help Boston College beat Georgia Tech 66-65 on Tuesday in the opening game of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

Hanlan finished with 25 points for the 12th-seeded Eagles (13-18), the last coming when he drove on Robert Sampson toward the baseline then stepped back to bury the shot on the right side.

It capped a wild final minute with three lead changes and a final missed opportunity for the 13th-seeded Yellow Jackets (12-19). Corey Heyward drove the lane but his layup bounced off the rim, and the ball was batted wildly to the far corner and out of bounds as time expired to end it.

BC survived a strong showing from Georgia Tech on the boards and its own 36-percent shooting after halftime. The Eagles advanced to face No. 19 North Carolina, the fifth seed.

Tadric Jackson scored 16 points to lead the Yellow Jackets, who lost yet another close game in a season filled with them. Georgia Tech led 63-57 on Sampson’s 3-pointer with 1:51 left, only to have a couple of turnovers that helped BC regroup.

One of those came when Demarco Cox grabbed an offensive rebound but threw the ball away to set up a runout for Hanlan that put the Eagles up 64-63 with 41.4 seconds left. Jackson responded by getting into the lane and scoring with 26.8 seconds left to put Georgia Tech back up one, only to see Hanlan come through yet again.

Georgia Tech had lost 12 of its 15 regular-season ACC games by seven or fewer points, a miserable season that has left the future of fourth-year coach Brian Gregory uncertain. Gregory, who took over in 2011, entered with a record of 55-70 overall and a league mark of 19-51. Worse, last year’s overtime win against BC in the first round is the only ACC tournament win for Gregory as well as for the program since its surprise run to the 2010 championship game.

Georgia Tech dominated the boards (43-26) behind Charles Mitchell (14 points, 11 rebounds), and finished with 28 second-chance points.

It was the Yellow Jackets’ first full game without leading scorer Marcus Georges-Hunt, who broke his right foot early in the regular-season finale against North Carolina on March 3.

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TIP-INS

Georgia Tech: Quinton Stephens went 1-for-12 from the field and missed all nine 3-point tries, scoring just five points. ... Sampson finished with 12 points. ... Georgia Tech had 19 offensive rebounds.

Boston College: Patrick Heckmann scored 19 points. ... BC went 12-for-15 from the foul line after halftime. ... It marked the third straight year the teams had met in the opening round of the ACC tournament, with BC winning the 2013 meeting.