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Seminoles survive Boston College

Florida State basketball coach Leonard Hamilton has seen more than a few last-second shots sail through the air at the Donald L. Tucker Center recently.

Devon Bookert had eight assists and no turnovers Saturday afternoon.

It's been a while, though, since Hamilton has hoped for one of those shots to miss.

But there he was Saturday afternoon, watching his desperate team cling to a 69-66 lead over the Boston College Eagles, an uneasy feeling settling in his stomach as he watch BC's Ryan Anderson receive the ball at top-right corner, with not a defender near him and a clear look at the game-tying basket.

“I didn’t feel real comfortable, there’s no doubt about that,” Hamilton said. “I don’t know how we left that guy open as much as he was.”

Anderson, a 6-8, 220-pound forward, is Boston College's top scorer. He averages 15.9 points per game. He's not, as Eagles coach Steve Donahue noted after the game, a great 3-point shooter.

Anders supported his coach's assessment with a shot that proved to be well short, bounced off the rim and fell harmlessly away.

Florida State 69, Boston College 66.

“I'm kind of tired of the close games,” FSU forward Okaro White said. “But, you know, you've got to take it how you can get it in the ACC.

FSU's six conference wins have come by a combined 18 points and the Seminoles haven't won by more than three since playing at Clemson six weeks ago. Saturday's victory snaps a two-game losing streak, evens its ACC record to 6-6 and keeps the Seminoles in the thick of the middle of the conference pack.

Michael Snaer scored a game-high 21 points.

In the early goings, it appeared the Seminoles would dispatch the Eagles with ease. But by the middle of the second half, they found themselves once again trailing, having blown a second double-digit lead in as many games.

FSU on Saturday led by as much as 12 in the first half, building a 24-12 advantage on the strength of a strong effort from Michael Snaer, who scored 10 points in the first half and finished with a game-high 21 – his first 20-point game in ACC play this season.

Just like their last time out, when they squandered an early, 11-point lead in a loss to No. 3 Miami, the Seminoles couldn't maintain their dominance and allowed the Eagles back in it.

By halftime, FSU's lead had been whittled to 31-26. It took less than seven minutes for the Eagles to take a 45-42 lead on one of their three seven 3-pointers.

Boston College did most of its damage from beyond the arc, connecting at a 54 percent rate and hitting 4-of-5 in the second half.

Oliver Hanlan, who led the Eagles with 19 points, made three of his four 3-point attempts.

Wednesday against Miami, Florida State sustained the Hurricanes' run and came back to the tie the game in the second half before falling short. Against Boston College, the Seminoles finished the job.
After Patrik Heckmann's 3-pointer gave the Eagles their 45-42 advantage, FSU went on a 12-2 run sparked by a pair of 3-pointers by Snaer and Ian Miller.

“A lot of heroes,” Hamilton said. “A lot of guys came in and made some good plays for us. And I'm somewhat encouraged because we've probably been a little more inconsistent than I'd like for us to be throughout the year.”

Starting for the second time in as many games, freshman guard Devon Bookert dished two of his eight assists during FSU's run. He also added a 3-pointer and didn't have a single turnover.

“I thought, obviously, (Devon) Bookert played his best game of the year,” Hamilton said.

“Eight assists and no turnovers,” Donahue said, “with no disrespect to him, that's a tough pill to swallow.”

It was a defensive lapse at the end of the game, though, that had Bookert shaking his head. The Anchorage, Alaska, native took the blame for the mishap that left Anderson with a wide-open look at overtime.

“I knew it would've been mine fault if it went in,” Bookert said. “Especially because I was the closest. I had to contest it."

That Anderson missed allowed for Bookert to crack a smile while telling the tale.

“And I was praying," he said, "it wasn't going in.”

Box Score: Florida State 69, Boston College 66

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