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BC played its final non-league game.


Boston College closed out the non-league side of the slate and snapped a four-game losing streak with a 63-56 victory over Stonehill on Tuesday night at Conte Forum.

BC improved to 6-6 overall and 16-0 against Stonehill, a former Division II program from the NE-10 that moved up to the Northeast Conference this season.

The Eagles are in for a Power-5 reality check on Dec. 21 when they host the 24th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies (10-1, 1-0) in the ACC home opener. The Hokies have wins over North Carolina, Oklahoma State and Minnesota, while BC has home losses to Maine and New Hampshire.

“We have to prepare at the highest level we can and every game is going to be tough for us at this point,” said BC coach Earl Grant. “We have to prepare at the highest level we can as it pertains to the game plan and whoever we play, there are improvements we have to make.”

BC’s prospects were bolstered by the return of graduate guard Makai Ashton-Lanford, the Eagles’ leading scorer (11.0 ppg.) and playmaker who missed the last two games with a hamstring issue. Ashton-Lanford played 19:42 minutes and scored seven points as a tune up for the Hokies. He was assessed a technical foul with 7:31 to play.

“The plan was to get him back on and see how he looked and we thought going in he would play 15 to 20 minutes,” said Grant. “I really didn’t want to play him too much if I could help it and 20 was the highest number we wanted to go.”

BC shot 42.3% from the floor led by guard Jaeden Zackery with 16. Ashton-Lanford checked into the game after the first media timeout with Stonehill leading 9-7 following a 3-point shot by guard Max Zegarowski. Ashton-Lanford put BC up 12-9 with a drive down the lane with 11:15 to play. Ashton-Lanford and CJ Penha scored four apiece during and 8-0 run that but BC up 24-16 with 4:51 to play, prompting Stonehill coach Chris Kraus to call a timeout.

The run resumed unabated when Penha canned a pair of treys and Zachery nailed a turnaround on the baseline to give the Eagles a 32-16 lead with 3:24 to play. Stonehill retaliated with a 10-3 spurt to cut the lead to 35-26 at the break.

“It was really serious for us this whole game and we were focused on getting this last non-conference win before we go into conference, which is going to be our toughest battles,” said Zackery. “Being able to go into that after a win is really important to us.”

The second half began with sloppy play from both camps. BC was able to maintain its halftime lead and went up 44-33 on a jumper by Zackery before the second media timeout. Stonehill cut the lead to 54-50 on a 3-ball by Zegarowksi with 5:22 to play. Stonehill cut the lead to 59-56 on a trey by Andrew Sims with 24 seconds to play, but BC made four free throws to ice the game.


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