Florida State holds off BC, 74-70 - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Florida State holds off BC, 74-70

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By KEN POWTAK

Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) -- Florida State doesn't seem to have room for any mistakes. The Seminoles took advantage of a couple of key ones by Boston College to pull out an important victory.

Aaron Thomas scored 26 points, Okaro White 24 and Florida State pulled out the much-needed win, 74-70 over BC on Tuesday night.

The Seminoles (18-11, 9-8 ACC) posted their third straight victory in their chase for an NCAA tournament berth. They've won four of five heading into a regular season finale at home against No. 7 Syracuse.

"Our last three games have been important," Thomas said, knowing the Seminoles need to keep building their resume for a postseason bid. "We know every game is important. We came out with our backs against the wall, hoping to get a `W."'

The Seminoles, known for their defense under coach Leonard Hamilton, pulled this one out by making big shots down the stretch. They were 76.5 percent from the floor (13 of 17) in the second half and 56.8 (25 of 44) in the game.

They needed every one of them, too, because the Eagles shot 52 percent overall (26 of 50), nailing 11 of 25 3-pointer.

"It was a very important win for us," Hamilton said. "The ride would have been real long. It was very, very important. We only had a one-day turnaround, but I thought our guys were really prepared. We had tremendous respect for them. They shot 52 percent, very few teams have shot 50 percent against us."

But, like BC's season has been, a few key plays cost the Eagles a shot at the win.

"We competed and played very well," BC coach Steve Donahue said. "We've had a lot of games this year we played well enough to win. You've got to make one or two plays, a rebound. We competed and made plays, they just made more."

Olivier Hanlan led BC (8-22, 4-13) with 20 points, but had a key turnover and missed a potential tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds.

Patrick Heckmann added 13 points and Joe Rahon, who also missed a 3 in the final seconds, had 11 for the Eagles, who have lost 11 of 14.

White hit a turnaround in the lane for the 24th and final lead change of the night, pushing the Seminoles ahead 69-68 with 1:31 to play. After Heckmann lost control of a pass for a turnover, Devon Bookert nailed the second of two free throws, making it 70-68 with 24 seconds left.

Following a BC timeout, Hanlan took his eye off an inbounds pass and it went out of bounds off his hip. But Bookert missed the second of two from the line.

BC had a shot to tie it in the closing seconds, but Rahon and Hanlan both front-rimmed 3s and Boris Bojanovsky sealed it with one free throw.

In a game filled with long possessions, Ryan Anderson's put-back of Heckmann's missed 3 had given Boston College a 68-67 lead with just over 2 minutes to play.

Thomas' shot-clock beating jumper from the right baseline had pushed Florida State ahead 67-66 with 2 1/2 minutes left after Hanlan's free throw snapped a tie.

The lead changed hands 12 times in the initial 10 minutes of the second half before Rahon's two free throws retied it at 55. After a Florida State miss, Hanlan had a driving one-handed bank shot, pushing BC back in front on the next possession.

Heckmann's 3 right in front of BC's bench gave the Eagles a 60-55 edge, the largest lead of the game for either team. But the Seminoles scored seven of the next nine points, tying it at 62 with 5:03 left.

The teams were tied at 33 at halftime.

Neither team held more than a four-point lead in a first half that saw a contrast of styles. The smaller Eagles played mostly zone and had to rely on their 3-point shooting to stay close, nailing 7 of 16 from beyond the arc.

With BC's students on spring break, the crowd was much smaller than normal.

BC travels to North Carolina State for its regular season finale on Sunday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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