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Boston College off to best start in school history

BOSTON (AP) -- Providence coach Tim Welsh didn't have to reach
too far back in his memory to assess the play of Boston College
freshman Sean Williams.

"This guy's different. He's kind of got an Okafor look to
him," Welsh said Saturday night after Williams had career highs
with 16 points and 10 rebounds to help Boston College (NR ESPN/USA Today; No. 25 AP) extend
its school-record start with a 69-60 victory over Providence.

Emeka Okafor led Connecticut to the NCAA title last year before
becoming the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA draft. Williams may turn
out to be a star, but his own coach wants to see a little more
first.

"He's going to have games like this," BC coach Al Skinner
said, "and, unfortunately, times he might not be as good."

Craig Smith had 18 points and 13 rebounds, but Williams took
over the game after Boston College fell behind 54-53, scoring six
points during an 8-2 run that gave the Eagles the lead for good.

"He's the most underrated freshman in the country," Smith
said. "The sky's the limit."

BC (13-0, 2-0 Big East), one of four remaining unbeaten teams in
Division I, had never opened the season with 13 wins and have not
won 13 straight since a record 19-game winning streak in 1968-69.

"They're a good team. They're not better than I expected at
all," Welsh said. "They won 24 games last year and they took the
national finalist (Georgia Tech) to the final second. They've got
almost everybody back, and now they've got Williams."

Ryan Gomes, the preseason Big East player of the year, had a
season-high 26 points for Providence (9-5, 0-1), but he was the
only Friar in double digits. Three of Providence's losses were to
ranked teams.

Williams' previous career highs were eight points and seven
rebounds. He also had three blocked shots while playing just 24
minutes.

"I'm going to try and at least alter every shot," he said. "I
feel very comfortable out there."

Gomes scored nine of Providence's first 11 points in the second
half during an 11-3 run that gave the Friars a 50-38 lead with
16:07 to play. But the Eagles switched to a zone defense and scored
15 of the next 17 points to take a 53-52 lead with just over 9:11
left.

"They did a good job of taking Ryan out of the game," Welsh
said. "And we've got to do a better job of playing against their
defense."

Herbert Hill's putback gave Providence the lead with 8:29 left
before Williams scored on a follow-up slam to put Boston College
ahead. Smith scored on a drive to make it 57-54 before Randall
Hanke made a layup with 4:14 left -- Providence's final basket of
the game.

The Eagles closed the game with a 12-4 run as Providence made
just two field goals over the last 13:10. The Friars shot 56
percent from the floor in the first half but just 29 percent in the
second.

BC's victory ended an odd streak in the series: Neither team had
won at home in the previous four games over two seasons.