Quebec basketball star aids shocking upset of Syracuse

The Syracuse Orange, the top team in American college basketball, lost their first game of the year in overtime to Olivier Hanlan of Gatineau, Que., and his lowly Boston College Eagles.

Olivier Hanlan of Gatineau, Que., scores 20 points as Boston College Eagles beat undefeated Orange

Canadian NBA prospect Olivier Hanlan hit three 3-pointers in overtime to help spur his lowly Boston College Eagles to a stunning upset of top-ranked Syracuse 62-59, ending the Orange's unbeaten season.

Boston College guard Olivier Hanlan, left, hit three 3-pointers in overtime to help spur his team to a shocking upset of the Syracuse Orange on Feb. 19, 2014. (Stephan Savoi/Associated Press)
Hanlan, who is from the Aylmer sector of Gatineau, Que., helped his Eagles rally from a 13-point second-half deficit to pull off the upset, only its seventh win in 26 games this season. The team had also lost its last five games before Wednesday night.

The loss by Syracuse, now with a 25-1 record, leaves Wichita State University as the lone unbeaten team in NCAA Division I basketball.

Hanlan, a 20-year-old point guard, is in his second season at Boston College.

In last year’s playoff run, the young Canadian set a rookie record by scoring 41 points in a game, and he was named the ACC Rookie of the Year — an award he shares with superstars like Michael Jordan, Chris Paul and former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh.

This year, Hanlan is backing up his breakout season by leading his team in scoring with 18.2 points per game, which is third in the conference.

Standing six feet, four inches and weighing 190 pounds, Hanlan comes from a basketball family as his father, brother and two sisters also play.

NBA draft prospect

When he was in the Ottawa-Gatineau area, Hanlan honed his skills under Carleton University Ravens head coach Dave Smart, who’s also involved with the Ottawa Guardsmen club team.

A few NBA mock draft websites list Hanlan as one of the 60 players who could be picked in the 2014 draft, one calling him a dark horse candidate for a first-round pick.

Hanlan has told CBC News he’s in no rush to declare for the draft since he has two more years of eligibility after this one.

The Eagles played Syracuse with heavy hearts and a good dose of determination after longtime basketball media contact and sports information assistant Dick Kelley died last week after a two-year battle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

His funeral was Tuesday and the Eagles, who often visited his apartment, were wearing “DK” patches on their uniforms.

Syracuse, meanwhile, shot a season-low 32.2 per cent from the field and missed 10 of its 12 3-point shot attempts.

With files from CBC News


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