TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The only way is forward.As much as they might like to go back and right the wrongs of Saturday’s 74-72 loss to Pittsburgh, the Florida State Seminoles have another game to play.And it’s the first of a stretch that might very well define their season.FSU (12-7, 2-5 ACC) visits struggling Boston College (7-12, 0-6) Tuesday night, looking to snap a two-game losing streak and get back on track as the regular season nears its final month.
After that, its back-to-back home games against Clemson and North Carolina State before a road trip to Wake Forest.
A successful run through that span will have the Seminoles right back in the thick of the league’s upper half.
The opposite, though, would leave them with a lot of work to do in February.
“I think it will come together very soon,” senior guard Devon Bookert said. “We keep on trying to do the small things. I think if we get a hold of those small things every time, and the fundamental things, then it will come together very fast.”
They’ve certainly given themselves reason to believe.
FSU played one of its best halves of the season against No. 20 Pittsburgh, flirting with a 60-percent shooting mark from the field while building a 10-point lead at halftime.
Unfortunately, the Seminoles also got another bitter lesson on the margin of error in the ACC. The Panthers kept it close in the second half then took advantage of a series of miscues – coach Leonard Hamilton lamented FSU’s unforced turnovers and inability to get to the free throw line – to steal a victory.
“Whenever you take a nationally-ranked team and you give them an opportunity, they’re going to make you pay,” Hamilton said.
As such, the Seminoles missed out on a golden opportunity to bank a win over a ranked foe.
But, with 11 games left on the schedule, there will be other opportunities for the Seminoles to build their resume.
First, though, they must contend with a Boston College team that hasn’t won a game since before the New Year, with six straight losses coming by double-digits.
Even with a sub-par record, the Eagles do have some players that will command FSU’s attention.
Senior guard Eli Carter ranks fifth in the ACC with 17.2 points per game and he averages more than four assists and four rebounds per contest, too.
Freshman guard Jerome Robinson (11.4 points per game) and senior center Dennis Clifford (8.7 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game) are also key parts of BC’s lineup.
“They’re a really good team and they’ve been in games throughout the stretch,” Bookert said. “So I think it will be a challenge for us.”
The Seminoles have won three straight against the Eagles, and haven’t lost at BC since 2012.
If they can pick up one more win, it could be the start of a run that turns the fortune of their season.
“We’re coming close, but close is not going to do any good in basketball games,” Hamilton said. “We’ve just got to make sure we keep grinding and hopefully we can be one of those teams that, once we get to that point, we’ll start stacking wins on top of wins and be where we need to be at the end of the season.”