Forty-five seconds remained in the game. Florida State to that point was 0 for 11 from behind the three point line. That is until Derwin Kitchen hit the Seminoles’ only three pointer of the game from just left of the circle breaking a 54-54 tie.
From there the Seminoles made just enough free throws and got the stops on defense they needed.
Just to make sure, Kitchen sank two free throws with eight seconds left giving the ‘Noles its first victory ever at Boston College since the Eagles joined the conference, 61-57.
As has often been the case the two halves were quite a bit different and followed a similar scenario of previous games this season.
FSU’s play over the first twenty minutes was marred with 11 turnovers, many self-inflicted, and poor shooting at just 32%, resulting in a 27-22 halftime deficit.
It didn’t start out that way with the Seminoles jumping out to a 10-2 lead. But then the second unit of the ‘Noles just could not hang onto the ball, turning it over on four straight possessions, going on a scoring drought of 5:34.
The second half however saw the ‘Noles come out with greater effort on offense and cutting down on the miscues turning over the ball only five more times.
The Eagles scored the first basket, but Chris Singleton scored eight points over 4:30 to pull FSU even at 36 all.
The first basket by Singleton in the flurry was a two-on-one transition layup off a blocked shot by Solomon Alabi. Seconds later he stole the ball out high and raced in for another layup. A jumper off another BC turnover and a driving layup finished the scoring outburst.
From there it is was a back and forth game with the highlight of the next seven minutes being a gutsy one-on-three layup by Michael Snaer.
A goaltending call put the Eagles up 54-53 at the 1:47 mark and Ryan Reid made one of two from the line to tie it at 54 setting up Kitchen’s heroics.
Alabi led the ‘Noles with 16 points with Reid, Singleton, and Snaer adding ten with Singleton scoring all of his points in the second half to go along with a game high 11 rebounds.
Kitchen added 9 boards and Alabi 6 in giving the taller Seminoles a decided edge in rebounding at 39-22.
Leonard Hamilton credited Singleton, Alabi, and Snaer for their effort as well as the team’s second half improved play.
“I thought we executed very well in the second half,” Hamilton said. “We hit the free throws we had to make and got the stops we had to have.”
“We attacked the basket and were more aggressive, especially in the second half.”
That was reflected in FSU’s shooting improving to 46% for the game.
But turnovers continue to frustrate the head coach.
“We find a way to win, we find a way to turn the ball over,” added Hamilton. “Each player will make that one ill-advised turnover that we can’t seem to eliminate.”
“We’re still working on it. We’re still a work in progress and have not yet come close to our potential.”
Rakim Sanders scored 17 points for BC followed by Joe Trapani’s 15.
With the win Florida State improves its record to 16-5, 4-3 and is now 2-4 versus the Eagles with all six games decided by a grand total of 19 points.
Next up for the Seminoles is a rematch with the Maryland Terrapins Thursday night in Tallahassee. Tipoff is at 9 PM and scheduled to be televised by Raycom.