After an elusive win in Scott Spinelli’s debut as head coach, Boston College couldn’t make it a trend. Maybe it was because the Eagles played without Steffon Mitchell (hamstring) or Rich Kelly. Maybe it was playing a team that was significantly taller and heavier than them. Maybe it’s Maybelline? Regardless, the Eagles fell tonight to the #11 Florida State Seminoles by a score of 93-64 in front of a couple of thousand people in Tallahassee.
It was Senior Night for the hosts and senior MJ Walker was the leader for a deep Seminole team. Walker had 18 points when he checked out to a standing ovation, his last game at the Tucker Civic Center. Meanwhile Jay Heath, on the day that his backcourt partner Wynston Tabbs announced his transfer to East Carolina, shined alone with a career-high 28 points.
The Eagles made it a game through the first 10 minutes. They went punch for punch with Florida State, executing Spinelli’s game-plan to perfection. But it was evident that they missed Steffon Mitchell from the jump and they made it too easy on defense. Florida State’s found easy buckets in the paint and open threes on missed rotations.
And truly, the Eagles were playing well offensively. Half of the Eagles’ first 14 shots were from three, the majority good looks. And even if it wasn’t a good look, it was going in anyway. With 10 minutes left in the half, Jay Heath launched a step-back trey over two defenders to answer a Seminole bucket and it felt like the Eagles were in it.
And then, in a matter of two minutes, Florida State opened up a 9 point league. And after the Eagles looked to close the gap, Florida State used five turnovers in 2 minutes to widen it right back to 14.
At the heart of Florida State’s run, and the Eagle’s misfortune, was size. As commentators put it, “the Eagles aren’t exactly well endowed with size.” The Seminoles were. At times, all five players on the were over 6’4. When the Eagles found themselves playing small ball, they had a height disadvantage at 4-of-5 positions. It resulted in BC being on the receiving end of a few highlight blocks at the rim and turnovers. On the other end, Eagle defenders did their best against players 3 inches and 60 pounds heavier than themselves. It ended expectedly.
It was a game that could be a metaphor for the season: some exciting moments in the beginning. But then, all of a sudden, it was garbage time with 14:24 left in the second half.
There were some good signs for the Eagles. Heath went 8-14 from deep and showed exactly how talented he is in every aspect of the game. The Langford Brothers continued to be spark-plugs, and Makai created his own shot to bail out the offense on more than one occasion. But those are just silver linings as BC tries to finish the year and head for a fresh start.
But not yet! For now, we’re on to Miami, (March 5, 6pm).