Feb. 24, 2009
BOSTON (AP)–Boston College certainly has made a statement against some of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s elite.
Tyrese Rice hit a key 3-pointer with 20.5 seconds to play and Joe Trapani scored 19 points to lead Boston College to a 72-67 upset of No. 23 Florida State on Tuesday night.
It was the Eagles (20-9, 8-6 ACC) third win this season against one of the conference’s top teams and added to their possible NCAA tournament resume. They handed then-No. 1 North Carolina its first loss on Jan. 4 in Chapel Hill and beat No. 7 Duke at home nine days ago.
“Knocking off three of the upper-tier teams definitely speaks for itself,” Rice said. “We’ve got two games left and we’ve got it in our own hands.”
Rice, who finished with just 11 points, was scoreless in the first half, but hit his 3 as the Eagles were clinging to a one-point lead.
Trapani, who sat out last season after transferring from Vermont, hit three 3-pointers in the closing 13:32 and made two free throws that gave BC a 68-65 with 2:54 left.
Rakim Sanders added 16 points and nine rebounds for Boston College, which went 7-for-11 on 3-pointers in the second half.
Toney Douglas led the Seminoles (21-7, 8-5) with 19 points. Soloman Alabi had 16 points and seven rebounds.
Florida State, which entered the day in a three-way tie for second place behind North Carolina, lost for just second time in seven games.
“We knew with guys like Rice and Trapani on the team they would make big shots, and at the end of the day that’s what they did,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “Rice put the dagger in with the 3-pointer there at the end like he always does when you give him a chance when the games going down the wire.”
BC led 57-54 with just under seven minutes left before scoring seven straight points. Trapani started the spree with a 3-pointer from the top. Biko Paris then scored on a drive and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but connected on a left-handed scoop shot in the lane 19 seconds later, making it 64-54 with 5:57 to play.
The Seminoles, who trailed by nine earlier in the second half, came back again, scoring the next eight points to close it to two on Douglas’ 3 from the left wing.
Florida State came within one twice in the final 3:09–both times when Alabi hit two free throws–the second made it 68-67.
Rice then nailed his key three after Albai missed a turnaround on the other end.
“We kept cutting the lead, but at the end of the day I didn’t feel we did the little things that you have to do on the road against a team of this caliber to pull off a victory,” Hamilton said.
BC has a road game against North Carolina State on March 4 before closing out its regular season at home against Georgia Tech on March 7.
Eagles coach Al Skinner is still trying to find out which team he has: the one that beats ranked teams or the one that was upset by Harvard.
“Just the consistent play,” he said of his team’s season.
The Seminoles, who re-entered the Top 25 for the second time in three weeks Monday, pulled to a 16-4 edge 7:36 into the game before BC, which missed seven of its first nine shots, climbed back into it.
BC reserve forward Tyler Roche was sidelined with the flu.
The Seminoles moved into the Top 25 two weeks ago for the first time this season, then fell out following a loss to Wake Forest on Feb. 14.