Alas, basketball at Boston College is fun again. On a night dedicated to the legendary basketball movie, “Space Jam,” the Eagles shot lights out to beat the Florida State Seminoles 81-75. Prior to Monday night, BC had lost its last seven contests to FSU.
This is the first time since 2009 that BC has defeated the Seminoles in both football and basketball in the same year.
In the first half, the Eagles could do no wrong. On defense, they fought hard to limit FSU to 25% shooting from the field. The Seminoles only made 1 of their 9 three-point attempts.
Big man Nik Popovic provided a fundamental presence inside, leading the team with a game high five blocks. After ending the first half with a 16 point lead, and after shutting out FSU for nearly the last five minutes, the outcome of the game seemed set in stone.
Jordan Chatman nailed two threes to mark an impressive 12-0 run by the Eagles just before the half.
The Eagles started the second half off strong with five immediate points, highlighted by a Ky Bowman opening three. FSU, however, rallied hard in the second to keep the game interesting. BC quickly got into foul trouble, accumulating five fouls within the first five minutes out of the locker room.
While BC's defense remained tough, as the Seminoles shot just 33% overall, foul troubles threw BC off their stride, allowing FSU to creep back. Ultimately, however, lights-out shooting from Ky Bowman (19 points) and Jerome Robinson (17 points) warded off any real comeback attempt.
In 40 minutes, Florida State never led once. Their performance at the three-point line, making just five of 26 shots, was a departure from their average heading into Monday night—9.3 threes per game, and first in the ACC.
No matter the effort put forth by FSU, it seemed BC always found a way to readjust and strike back with scoring of their own. No play better captured this than Nik Popovic's monster slam on a fast break over an FSU defender, which reinvigorated a worried Conte Forum crowd whose team's lead narrowed in the final six minutes.
Throughout the season, BC has relied heavily on their trio of guards: Bowman, Robinson, and Chatman, who have marked 70% of the team’s scoring. Monday's game was no exception, as Bowman and Robinson put up a combined 36 points to lead the team in scoring, in addition to Chatman putting up a respectable 14.
With this win, BC moves to 3-3 in ACC play and 13-6 on the season. The team has already accumulated more ACC wins this season than they had in the previous two seasons combined. BC isn’t the best team in the ACC, but they’ve proven that on any given day they can play against the top teams.
The Eagles look to carry their confidence forward as they travel to Louisville on Sunday January 21 to take on the Cardinals.
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