Eagles Beat #25 FSU

Boston College went into last night's game against #25 FSU in need of a win to keep their post-season hopes alive. Locked in a fight with five other conference teams for the final two or three tournament bids, the Eagles needed something to distinguish themselves from the pack. They got it by beating the Seminoles at Conte Forum, 72-67.

It wasn't pretty, but Boston College will take it. BC overcame a very sloppy and sluggish start to beat the #25 ranked Florida State Seminoles 72-67. It was a game BC "needed to win" according to Coach Skinner, and greatly helps the team's tournament chances.

The first half was marred by a combination turnovers, errant passes, traveling violations, steals, and missed dunks by both squads. The two teams combined for a remarkably high 20 turnovers just in the first half.

Boston College fell behind as they struggled to penetrate Florida State's aggressive defense. The Eagles were trailing 16-4 before coach Skinner called a timeout and inserted Biko Paris into the lineup.

Biko may have had the biggest impact on this game as anyone, and as Tyrese Rice described, he was the "real hero of the game." Paris made his impact felt immediately upon entering the game. He slashed into the Seminole defense and hit two layups.

It took about 10 minutes for BC to get it going offensively, but once they did they came surging back. Tyrese Rice found a cutting Corey Raji for the lay-in to cut FSU's lead to 22-19 with under three minutes remaining in the half.

Rakim Sanders would then proceed to drain a three-pointer knotting up the score at 22 a piece. On the next possession Sanders stole the ball at half court and threw down a sensational windmill slam giving the Eagles the lead.

Florida State's Toney Douglas would rattle home a three shortly before the half giving the Seminoles the 25-24 lead at the break.

Tyrese Rice sunk a three-pointer, his first points of the game, to open up the second half. The Eagles would take the lead in the opening minutes of the half and they held onto it the remainder of the game.

A three-pointer from Sanders put BC up 37-31. On the team's next possession, Sanders was fouled while attempting yet another trey. He would make all three free throws giving BC a nine-point edge. A few minutes later, Sanders would score on a nifty reverse layup to put BC back up by three.

With seven minutes to play, BC's Joe Trapani buried a three-pointer as the shot clock was winding down making the score 60-54 in favor of BC. On the following possession, BIko Paris drove to the hoop sinking a tough layup while drawing the hard foul. He would miss the free throw, but get his own rebound, and eventually Paris would finish with the driving lefty lay-in. This turn of events gave the Eagles their largest lead of the game at 64-54.

Florida State quickly made up the ground with three consecutive baskets, including a pair of Douglas three-pointers, the second of which brought FSU within two.

Boston College and Florida State would trade free throws on the next few possessions. The Eagles held onto a slim 68-67 lead with a little more than two minutes to go.

Rice had a chance to add to the lead at the free throw line, but he missed the front end on the one-and-one. Rakim Sanders grabbed the offensive board but Rice missed a three. Paris would grab Rice's miss, but Sanders then forced up a three of his own, giving Florida State the ball with the chance to take the lead with just over a minute remaining.

Florida State, instead of drawing up a play for All-ACC guard Toney Douglas, went to their 7'1 freshman Soloman Alabi. With Southern fouling out earlier in the half, Alabi attempted a hook shot over the much smaller Courtney Dunn. The shot bounced off the rim and Sanders snagged the crucial defensive board.

Tyrese Rice was quiet for much of the game, but the clutch senior came up big once again sinking a big-time three from the top of the key. His shot gave the Eagles the 71-67 lead and effectively closed the door on the ‘Noles.

Florida State had a chance to score again when Douglas stole Trapani's inbounds pass, but Trapani rejected his shot and sent BC on its way to the "W".

Joe Trapani led the way for the Eagles with 19 points to go along with 7 rebounds. Trapani was pleased with getting "another win over a top 25 team", adding "we had a mission today."

Rakim Sanders had 16 and a game high 9 boards. Sanders was very active defensively with three steals and a couple of blocks. Rice had 11 points, all of which came in the second half.

Biko Paris had 10 points off the bench. Paris said of his efforts, "I knew I had to make a difference tonight", and that is exactly what he did. He and Rice played extensively together in the second half, which Coach Skinner was very pleased about. Rice added that Biko "adds another playmaker on the floor" and allows him to play off the ball more.

Tyler Roche was out for the game with the flu.

Coach Skinner shied away from tournament speculation, but he did say the team is "clearly in control of what happens to us." This win improves BC's record to 20-9 and 8-6 in the ACC.

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