NEW YORK — Joe Rahon was a little late for the bus but he was there at the right time for Boston College once the game started.
The sophomore guard and captain of the Eagles didn’t start because he was 2 minutes late for the team bus on the way to Madison Square Garden. It didn’t help him that he was coming off a scoreless game the night before in a loss to No. 18 Connecticut.
But he responded by scoring 22 points, including four 3-pointers during Boston College’s first-half barrage from beyond the arc, and the Eagles beat Washington 89-78 on Friday in the third-place game of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project.
“I was pretty down on myself last night. I thought I let my team down, both by the way I played and the way I conducted myself as the captain of this team,” he said. “I wanted to come out today and even though my shots weren’t going (last night), just be positive and be there for my teammates. I was just fortunate enough to make shots and I was just trying to be there and do whatever it took to get a win.”
The Eagles started the game by making eight of 11 3-point attempts, including Rahon hitting four in as many attempts in a 2:40 span. Boston College went on to a 46-34 halftime lead.
“We couldn’t really dictate tempo and it was obvious they shot the ball well in the first half,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. “They shot the ball very, very well.”
Boston College cooled off from long range in the second half (3 of 10) but the Huskies never got closer than nine points as the Eagles went 6 of 6 from the free throw line in the final 2 minutes.
The Huskies could never recover from the start Boston College had behind the arc, and Rohan, who was 0 for 6 from the field and missed five 3-point attempts against Connecticut, was the key to that, even if he was 2 minutes late.
“Joe is such a tremendous kid we forget he’s just a sophomore,” Boston College coach Steve Donahue said. “I’m as guilty as everyone. He was late. He made a mistake and it was important for him to help his team win tonight. It’s important for kids to learn from their mistakes. He doesn’t make many but it didn’t throw him off.”
The Eagles (2-4) lost 72-70 to No. 18 Connecticut in the semifinals, while Washington (2-3) was beaten 102-84 by Indiana on Thursday.
Olivier Hanlon scored 20 points for Boston College. Ryan Anderson had 18 and seven rebounds.
C.J. Wilcox had a career-high 30 points, going 6 of 7 on 3s, for the Huskies. It was his fourth straight game of at least 20 points.
“At the end of the day it’s about team,” Wilcox said. “We saw some things we need to work on but we stuck together through adversity and we can take something from that.”
Romar said Wilcox has “obviously stepped it up. He’s our leading scorer and will probably lead us all season and we thought that coming into the season. He not only scored 30 points but he dished out four assists and had only one turnover. He had a very good offensive game.”
Boston College led by as many as 18 points — 59-41 with 15:04 to play — and Washington was never able to get closer than nine after that. The last time the Huskies were that close was 78-69 with 3:25 left, but Lonnie Jackson hit a 3 and then the Eagles started their run of free throws.
Boston College shot 55.9 percent for the game (33 of 59), while the Huskies shot 49.2 percent (29 of 59).
“They got away from us in transition for some open shots,” Romar said.
The loss was the seventh straight in Madison Square Garden for Washington. The Huskies’ only win was in their first appearance in the Garden, a 72-48 victory over NYU on Dec. 30, 1941.
This was the first meeting between Washington and Boston College.