March 4, 2014
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (Seminoles.com) -- Twenty-four lead changes. No advantage greater than four points. One Florida State victory.
In a start-to-finish back-and-forth ballgame late Tuesday night in New England, the FSU men's basketball team picked up a huge, resume-helping 74-70 win at Boston College.
Neither team led by more than two possessions all evening at Conte Forum but the game's final moments came down to what the Seminoles (18-11, 9-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) could do and what the Eagles (8-22, 4-13) couldn't.
Leading 69-68, Devon Bookert missed a jumper but tracked down a critical offensive rebound before being fouled and hitting one of two free throws. Boston College then couldn't inbound the basketball cleanly and turned it over before Ian Miller hit a free throw. After Boris Bojanovsky was whistled for goal-tending, `Noles star Aaron Thomas calmly hit both of his free-throw shots with 12.8 seconds left.
The Eagles, who hit 11 3-pointers on their home floor and shot 44 from that distance, hadn't had issues hitting long-range shots late Tuesday. But despite getting two open looks from behind the line to tie the game in that final 12-plus seconds, they couldn't convert and Bojanovksy iced the game with a final free throw.
The triumph pushed FSU above .500 in the ACC and gave the Seminoles a much-needed boost from its perch on the NCAA Tournament bubble. An important regular-season finale now awaits Florida State Sunday at home against Syracuse. A win against the Orange at the Donald L. Tucker Center could conceivably propel the `Noles into the Big Dance.
Tuesday's result also ensures the `Noles will finish with at least a .500 record in the mighty ACC for the sixth consecutive season.
Thomas and Okaro White help make sure that happened as they combined to score 50 of FSU's 74 points against Boston College.
Thomas has quietly become one of the better players in the ACC this season as his 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting led the way. White added 24 on a 9-of-12 clip. Bookert and Bojanovsky added nine and eight points, respectively.
For the game, FSU shot 56.8 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point land. The `Noles turned the ball over just 11 times. Boston College shot 52 percent overall and 44 percent from long range.
Olivier Hanlan had 20 points for the Eagles.
There are still some tickets available for the monster `Noles-Orange game March 9 but fans need to act fast before the game sells out. To purchase tickets, call 1-888-FSU-NOLE or visit the online ticket page.