TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Boston College coach Steve Donahue knew plenty about Florida State’s Michael Snaer. But where did this Devon Bookert guy come from?
While Snaer was putting up highest scoring total in Atlantic Coast Conference play this year with 21 points, freshman Bookert handed out eight assists without a turnover in just his second start of the year. Six assists came in the second half, including three during a span of just over two minutes that ignited a 12-2 Seminole run that wiped out BC’s brief 45-42 lead.
“That’s a tough pill to swallow when you allow a guy to get eight assists and no turnovers and then find those guys wide open as well,” Steve Donahue said after his team dropped a 69-66 game to the Seminoles. It was the Eagles’ sixth ACC loss by five points or less this season, the last two of those by three points or less.
The Eagles had a chance to tie at the buzzer, but Ryan Anderson’s 3-point try bounced off the front rim and the Seminoles ran off their home court with yet another close win. BC has cut the lead to 68-66 on Lonnie Jackson’s layup with six seconds remaining, but Florida State’s Terry Whisnant hit the second of two free throws a second later to force the Eagles into a desperation 3 in hopes of forcing overtime.
“We had a shot,” Donahue said. “I’m pleased with how hard we played and hung around.”
While BC has come out on the short end of so many losses, Florida State has maintained its winning record by winning the close games.
The defending ACC champs (14-11, 6-6 ACC) have won all of their league games by five points or less, including five wins by three points or less — and three coming on final second shots by Snaer. The Seminoles also evened their home record at 7-7 with just their fourth win in the last 10 games.
It was the first ACC game this year in which Snaer has scored 20 or more points. He made 8 of 10 shots and was perfect on four free throws. Snaer’s two free throws with 2:05 left gave Florida State a 66-60 lead.
Florida State led by as many as 12 points in the opening half on its way to a 31-26 lead at the break. BC rallied to take its 45-42 lead on Patrick Heckmann’s 3 before Bookert keyed a 12-2 run that propelled the Seminoles into a 54-47 lead with 8:06 left.
“The assists he had today were more out of instincts,” Hamilton said in praise of Bookert. “Starting has been good for him.”
Okaro White chipped in with 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds while Bookert, who scored 12 points in Wednesday’s 74-68 loss to third-ranked Miami in his first collegiate start, was turnover-free in 31 minutes on the court.
Boston College (11-14, 3-9) was led by freshman Olivier Hanlan’s 19 points. Heckmann and Anderson, who had a game-high 11 rebounds, each added 10 points for the Eagles.
Both clubs shot well in close and from long distance. Florida State hit 51 percent overall (25 of 49) and made 7 of 13 from 3-point range, while Boston College finished at 44.4 percent (24 of 54) and was 9 of 16 from beyond the arc.
Whisnant’s 3 with 6:11 left in the opening half gave Florida State a 24-12 lead, but Joe Rahon hit a 3 and followed with a jumper to cap a 9-0 BC run that pulled the Eagles to within 24-21.
Boston College returns home to host Maryland on Tuesday while the Seminoles visit North Carolina State the same night.
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