Florida State started strong and then the best free throw shooting team in the ACC held off a determined Boston College team, 69-66, converting 7 of 8 attempts in the final minutes.
For the second straight game Leonard Hamilton started Michael Ojo, Aaron Thomas, and Devon Bookert along with Okaro White and Michael Snaer. The combination once again provided a certain energy that helped FSU build an early 24-12.
But a patient Eagles' offense worked its way back in to the game to trail by just five at the break, 31-26.
On the strength of four three pointers, Boston College took a 45-42 lead at the 13:05 mark when Patrick Heckmann canned a three from above the key.
It was FSU's veterans that carried the team to victory, however, notably Snaer who scored 11 of his 21 points in the last ten minutes of the game.
Snaer's two free throws with 2:05 left gave the Seminoles a 66-60 lead.
Florida State looked to be headed for victory and seemingly in control.
Again the 'Noles, with forty seconds remaining, had an opportunity to take firm control -- that is until White decided against the slam dunk and tried to lay the ball in off the glass. Instead of two points and a six point lead, White was stuffed by Eddie Odio.
Now on defense all the Seminoles had to do was force the Eagles into running some time off the clock. Instead Terry Whisnant committed a foul away from the ball, giving Hanlon two more points from the stripe.
BC was now down by just two, 66-64, with twenty-five seconds left.
Fouled almost immediately on the inbound pass, Bookert calmly made his only free throw attempts of the game to put FSU back up by two possessions.
The Seminoles did enough defensively to roll 15 seconds off the clock. Ian Miller wisely let Lonnie Jackson drive the baseline for the lay up basket rather than commit the foul.
Obviously expecting the quick foul, Bookert found Whisnant on the inbound pass. With Whisnant missing only one free throw attempt all season, it seemed like the 'Noles could seal the win.
Instead Whisnant missed the first but sank the second to make it 69-66.
And just to make it even more heart stopping, BC's leading scorer had a wide open look to tie the game at the buzzer when Bookert for some reason decided to double team the man with the ball at the key, leaving Anderson all alone on the right side for the shot. Fortunately the ball barely touched iron and the Seminoles ended their two game losing streak.
Despite the tense last minutes which Hamilton called just "another one of those hard fought ACC games," the 'Noles played quite well offensively for the second game in a row.
Credit Bookert in large part who dished out eight assists against zero turnovers.
As a team, the Seminoles gave away the ball only ten times.
This is why Bookert is now starting at the point guard position. It was a move most FSU fans expected would be made eventually. And it could not have come at a better time as Florida State was looking for ways to stop its slide after losing six of its previous nine games.
Shooting a decent 42% in the first half, the Seminoles offense rolled in the second, connecting on 67% of its attempts that included 4 of 5 three pointers.
"When we moved the ball we got high percentage shots," Hamilton commented.
Defensively FSU gave up 44% from the floor and 9 of 16 threes.
Still, Hamilton was pleased with his team's execution on both ends of the floor.
"We changed up our defensive schemes a little to defend their patient offense," Hamilton said. "I wondered if it was the right decision for a little but it worked out well with no back door baskets."
Joining Snaer in double digits was White with 13 points to go along with 8 rebounds.
Hanlon led the Eagles with 19 points and Anderson and Heckmann each added ten.
With the win, Florida State improves to 14-11, 6-6 on the season. The Seminoles will head to Raleigh to take on North Carolina State. Tip off is set for 7:00 PM Tuesday night.