Eagles Chop Noles, Climb ACC Poll
By: TJ Hartnett
Boston College surpassed its total ACC victories from the past two years combined with a convincing win over Florida State Monday night. The victory is BC’s third, bringing them to 3-3 in conference play, only behind Duke, UVA, and Clemson in wins. A near sold out crowd powered the Eagles to victory, its first over Florida State since 2013. BC came out swinging in the first half, opening up the game with a Steffon Mitchell three ball. Bowman and Robinson finished with 19 a piece with Bowman grabbing a double double on the back of 13 boards. All 5 BC starters finished in double digits, the first time in ACC play this season. Popovic and Chatman had 14 and the young stud Steffon Mitchell corralled 13 points and 9 rebounds. Vin Baker Jr was the only BC bench player to score with 2 points.
Florida State was powered by Lowell local Terrence Mann (21 points) and CJ Walker (17 points) who kept FSU in the game down the stretch. The best 3-point shooting team in the ACC shot an abysmal 19% from beyond the arc and 34% total from the field. “Tonight was not our night to knock down our shots…we got good looks” said FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton. Unfortunately for the Seminoles, the 3rd best shooting player in the ACC, Braian Angola went 3-10 from 3 and 6-19 from the field. Angola averages 42% from 3. BC head coach Jim Christian praised tonight’s crowd as a big factor in tonight’s victory. “Crowd was great…hope people come out and continue to support this team, they deserve it” said Christian. BC’s largest lead of 21 was continually cut into throughout the second half as FSU cut it to 5 with under 2 to play. The clutch free throw shooting of the Eagles sealed the victory in Chestnut Hill. BC shot 80% from the charity strike, only missing one in the final 2 minute stretch.
Where Boston College saw great success was down low against Florida State’s bigs. The combination of 6’8 Cofer, 7’4 Koumadje,, 7 Kabengele, and Obiagu combined for 9 points total, outrebounding BC 50-36. The undersized Mitchell and one of the best rebounding guards in the country, Bowman, were not phased as FSU was defeated on the boards 32-29 defensively. Offensively, FSU crushed BC 21-4 in boards, but only cashed in on under 50% of those opportunities awarded. Overall, BC closed out another ACC victory down the stretch, a characteristic that has been missing from Jim Christian’s squad throughout his tenure.
With Bowman and Robinson leading the charge, the 3 man support behind them guaranteed a win for the Eagles. Mitchell’s unwavering confidence and maturity alongside arguably Nik’s best ACC game of his career with Chatman’s stellar 75% from 3 has BC looking like a possible tournament team. BC is back in action on Sunday at noon against Louisville on the road. The Eagles are 0-2 on the road in ACC play this year, looking to snap the streak against a hot Cardinals squad who defeated FSU just 5 days ago. BC will be back in action in hopes of strengthening its 11-1 record at Conte Forum this season on Wednesday, January 31st at 9pm on WZBC. One thing is fore sure; this team is no fluke and has brought excitement back to The Heights for the first time in a long time. The ACC has been put on notice.