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Boston College Builds Early Lead, Hangs On in Second Half to Beat FSU 75-69

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College hung on to beat FSU 75-69 today despite significant foul trouble and nearly blowing a 19-point first-half lead.

The Eagles controlled the tip and the opening few possessions of the game, as BC scored on all three of their opening possessions while forcing a shot clock violation and a missed tough jumper, giving BC the early 6-0 lead. Without star F Mathew Cleveland (14.0 PPG, 7.8 RPG), BC looked to get inside early and often – with McGlockton getting 4 early points plus a block. FSU, meanwhile, began the contest shooting 1-9, as they fell into poor shot selection and missed some easy looks inside. 5 minutes into the contest, BC led 8-2.

Quinten Post has carried BC offensively pretty much all season long, and he started strong as he drilled back-to-back triples. BC also welcomed back DeMarr Langford Jr. from injury, but unfortunately for him FSU G Caleb Mills shook him twice in a row to answer Post’s run. Then, FSU went on a minutes-long scoreless run as the Eagle’s defense locked down, forcing missed shots and effectively collecting rebounds. On the other end, Post started firing from anywhere and canned two more triples. After an Aligbe corner three, BC led 27-11 as FSU was held to 5-22 shooting in the opening 12 minutes of the game.

Boston College continued their hot shooting, as Madsen and Langford Jr. both canned triples to stretch BC’s lead to 16. In the first half, the Eagles shot 8-13 from downton in one of the more impressive shooting performances of the season. Quinten Post simply could not miss. He shot 5/5 from beyond the arc in the first half, and with 3 minutes in the half he casually stepped into a logo trey to give BC the 19-point lead. BC’s only real flaw in the first half was stupid turnovers, as Makai committed 5 alone and BC finished the half with 10 overall. Some stupid fouls also handed FSU a foothold into the game as FTs chipped away at BC’s lead. Nevertheless, a slim 17-13 rebounding advantage, strong defense (the Seminoles went almost 5 minutes without a FG to end the half) and the lights-out shooting had BC with a 11-point lead at half.

However, those Seminole FTs to end the half made life uncomfortable for the Eagles. FSU opened the second half with an and-1 bucket, and all of sudden BC’s lead – once 19 points – was only 8. Two FTs from Post restored the 10 point lead, but the game was closer than necessary. Caleb Mills, in particular, gave BC fits as he dissected the defense to regularly get to the rim.

Post took a seat a few minutes into the second half, and BC’s offense began to struggle with guards failing to get clean looks and committing turnovers while driving. If not for some really bad FSU offense – a travel on a home run ball pass, and a missed dunk – BC’s lead would have been much less than 8. As it was, with 15 minutes to play BC led 42-34. A big Zackery midrange stepback finally gave BC some points, but with BC’s shooting cooling down the Eagles continued to grind offensively.

Foul trouble began to take effect. Chas Kelley drew his fourth, forcing him to the bench, while Post continued to play with 3. FSU reached the bonus with over 13 minutes to play in the half, with Mills alone getting fouled 11 times. The fouls, combined with the completely stagnant second half BC offense (19 turnovers), let FSU continue to chip away at the lead. With 10 minutes to play, BC only led by 46-42.

Makai Ashton-Langford – as he has done so many times in his BC career – provided the layup to break the BC cold streak, as a nice seal from Post allowed him to get to the rack. Aligbe then finished an alley–oop from a beautiful half-court pass from Langford Jr., and BC’s cushion was restored to 8 points. Unfortunately for BC, on the ensuing possession QP picked up his 4th foul and was forced to the bench. Makai, too, then drew his 4th foul –but Earl Grant elected to keep him in the game.

With under 7 minutes to play, Devin McGlockton forcefully grabbed an offensive board and finished through contact to draw the and-1, which gave BC some much-needed momentum. They just could not stop fouling, however, and continued to gift FSU easy points from the charity stripe. Devin McGlockton, meanwhile, refused to let this one slip away, as he drove hard to rack and finished yet another and-1 opportunity to ignite the BC bench – and, crucially, also was the 5th foul on FSU 6’11 forward Baba Miller. Mason Madsen followed him with a nice pullup that found twine to give BC the 58-51 advantage with 3:32 to play.

The biggest blow of the night came with 3:31 to play, as Quinten Post was whistled for his 5th personal on a very questionable holding call. With FSU’s Miller and Post both out, each team was forced to go with some small-ball lineups to finish the game. McGlockton saw big minutes at the 5, and he responded with a pair of clutch free throws with just over a minute to play to put BC up 62-55. BC was able to hit its FTs down the stretch, and the Eagles held on to win 75-69.