Game report by Bill from Tampa
Florida State shot 48% from the floor, connected on 8 of 17 three pointers, was nearly perfect from the free throw line missing just one of its 17 attempts, and dished out 17 assists while taking care of the ball with a season low seven turnovers. After all that the Seminoles still lost the game when Boston College guard Sean Marshall hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to beat FSU 85-82.
Unfortunately FSU's five players in double figures could not match the three big guns of the Eagles. Tyrese Rice shredded the ‘Noles defense time and again with circus like shots in the lane en route to scoring a game high 26 points. Jared Dudley pounded FSU underneath the rim as well adding 23. Marshall who was in foul trouble much of the game ended the game with 22.
After Boston College had to call timeout before getting the ball over the time line, Marshall received the inbound pass and dribbled quickly to the left of the key where he launched the game winner over the outstretched hands of two defenders.
The shot touched off a storm the court celebration by the students while Marshall ripped his jersey off.
Leonard Hamilton gave credit to Marshall saying “he hit a very, very tough shot that we contested.”
Despite the fine offensive performance, the game came down to the Seminole defense. FSU just could not get the stops it needed to late in the game as the Eagles scored on all eight of its possessions in the last four minutes of the game.
“We just needed more stops,” Hamilton said afterwards. “We mixed our defenses up and just was not as sharp with the various defenses we used. We didn’t rotate to the baseline very well and gave up too many second shots.”
“A defense just can’t give up 53% and expect to win a game” added the head coach.
Despite the end of the game, Hamilton was more disappointed with his team’s first half defensive performance.
“In the first half shots were not contested. We gave too many good looks to BC and had unnecessary fouls that weren’t hustle fouls. We took a couple of possessions off tonight.”
Al Thornton continued his stellar performance in league play leading FSU with 22 points along with 8 boards. Jason Rich also had a fine game scoring 15. Isaiah Swann added 13 along with 7 assists and Toney Douglas and Uche Echefu each had 10.
A tightly contested game the entire way, there were 17 lead changes and 10 ties.
FSU managed maintain a small lead for much of the first 12 minutes. An 18 foot jumper by Echefu gave FSU a 21-19 lead that touched off a flurry of seven lead changes over the next 3 ½ minutes.
BC took a 30-27 lead on two Dudley free throws.
FSU played catch up with the Eagles holding a small lead until the final 2.9 seconds of the half. Casaan Breeden’s two free throws gave the Seminoles a 41-39 lead.
BC quickly inbounded the ball to Marcus Haynes who was inexplicably fouled by Swann near the time line with .9 seconds left on a blocking call. Haynes sent the two teams to the locker room tied at 41.
The second half was not much different as the teams jockeyed back and forth. FSU started shaky, forcing Hamilton to call a timeout at the 18:37 mark after Douglas fouled Rice while taking a three point shot.
Marshall gave BC a 48-43 lead on a three. Echefu seconds later hit a three from above the key and erased the lead on another three from the right corner with Dudley running at him.
The Eagles twice stretched the lead to five when Rich’s driving layup between the screens of Ryan Reid and Thornton followed by an 18 ft jumper preceded Swann’s wide open three from the right corner to give FSU a 59-56 edge with 12:30 remaining.
Again BC took the lead back but not for long as the Seminoles exerted its will connecting on two straight three pointers. A turnover by the Eagles resulted in a Thornton slam dunk giving the ‘Noles its largest lead at 68-61 with 8:48 left.
FSU tried its best but could not hold off the Eagles slow chipping away at the lead.
Thornton’s runner in the lane at the 4:41 mark gave FSU a 74-69 margin.
But as they had done all game long, BC attacked the basket relentlessly getting acrobatic shots in the lane from Rice, offensive putbacks from Dudley and Marshall, or getting to the charity stripe.
An NBA three from Rice put BC up 79-78 with 1:18 to play. Thornton took the lead back with two points from the line. That was followed by Rice’s circus underhand flip as he dribbled past Douglas just below the free throw line.
Marshall made one of two free throws giving Douglas the opportunity to tie the game at 82 when he was fouled driving into the lane.
FSU slapped on a press that caused the Eagles some difficulty bringing in the ball. Even when they did get the ball in BC could not get the ball thru FSU’s press calling timeout before getting the ball over mid court.
That set the stage for Marshall’s heroics keeping the Seminoles winless on the road this season.
With the loss FSU drops to 14-6 and 2-4 in league play.
Hamilton said it was a “hurt and disappointed locker room” as the ‘Noles let an opportunity to get to .500 slip away after starting 0-3 in the ACC. The coach was optimistic though, commenting that FSU has “five games at home and five games on the road.”
The Seminoles attempt to regroup against Wake Forest Saturday at the Civic Center. Tip off is at 4:00 PM. The game will be aired by Raycom.