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Eagles Upset Hoo's

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Jimmy Golen

AP Sports Writer

           

BOSTON (AP) - Twice in two weeks a team has come to Chestnut Hill still celebrating a victory over Duke. It turns out, the longtime Atlantic Coast Conference powerhouse is just Boston College's warm-up act.

           

Joe Rahon sank the game-winning 3-pointer as he was fouled with 8.2 seconds left on Sunday to give Boston College a 53-52 victory over Virginia, a setback for a team that hoped its victory over then-No. 3 Duke had clinched a berth in the NCAA tournament.

           

"I'm not sure how it all happened," said BC coach Steve Donahue, whose team is near the ACC cellar despite victories over Virginia and Maryland and one-point losses to Miami and Duke. "I just appreciate these guys, the perseverance for such a young group. We had a reason to pack up our tents when they went up 10. I felt they (Virginia) sensed it was over."

           

Ryan Anderson added eight points and nine rebounds for BC (13-16, 5-11 ACC), which trailed almost the entire second half and by as many as 11 points with 10 minutes to play.

           

Akil Mitchell had 16 points and eight rebounds and Joe Harris scored 14 for Virginia (20-9, 10-6). BC, which entered the day a half-game out of last place in the ACC, also beat Maryland after it had beaten Duke, damaging the Terrapins' NCAA chances.

           

"We've learned from our past experiences in close games," Rahon said. "We're getting better at home. We still need to do it on the road, too."

           

BC trailed by five points, 51-46, with 1:38 left when Eddie Odio got underneath for a dunk and then blocked Joe Harris' jumper, setting Olivier Hanlan off on a fast break. Harris was sent to the line and made one of two free throws, then BC set up for the winning shot, with Patrick Heckmann working the ball around to Rahon.

           

The BC freshman swished the ball through as he was knocked to the floor by Evan Nolte. Rahon missed the free throw and Virginia's Jontel Evans brought the ball the length of the court before - against tough defense by Heckmann - losing the ball out of bounds on the baseline with 0.4 seconds left.

           

"He was able to ride him out of bounds without fouling him, and get us the ball, which effectively won us the game," Rahon said.

           

Mitchell stole the inbounds pass in the Virginia backcourt, took one dribble and fired up a shot from beyond the half-court line that went in. But he had clearly not gotten the ball off in time.

           

Mitchell dropped to the floor in disappointment while the BC players celebrated.

           

After the traditional singing of the Boston College alma mater, the players headed over to press row to congratulate longtime assistant sports information director Dick Kelley, who is confined to a wheelchair with Lou Gehrig's disease. In a pregame ceremony, Kelley was surrounded by the BC players and staff as he received the Most Courageous Award from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

           

"All these guys are close to Dick. If we're going to go down, we're going to go down fighting in his honor, for sure," Donahue said. "It's hard not to get emotional about him. ... What he's going through for all of us is an incredible tough thing to watch. But it's also amazing how he's handled it. It's just very inspirational."

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