Full Health, 3-point clinic help lift Eagles over No. 11 Seminoles
By Will Wiegman
The Boston College Basketball team got its first win in ACC play and snapped a five-game losing streak in a back-and-forth contest against Florida State, defeating the Seminoles 87-82.
The Eagles finally had a complete roster coming into this one, adding back their second-leading scorer, freshman Wynston Tabbs. The opposite was the case for the No. 11 ranked FSU squad who was without redshirt senior Phil Cofer, the ‘Noles leading scorer from last season, due to a foot injury.
Early on, FSU tried to feed the ball into the paint to their 7’4″ center Christ Koumadje, mainly using him in the pick-and-roll. Despite being five inches shorter, Nik Popovic did a solid job denying the giant from the ball on multiple possessions.
Ky Bowman led the offense like he’s done in many games by scoring eight points in 3 minutes to propel BC to a seven point lead. Stefon Mitchell made his presence felt to start the game grabbing impressive rebounds over the FSU big men and drawing fouls, looking like his pre-injury self.
However, a media timeout and a Johncarlos Reyes mishandled pass leading to an and-one for Massachusetts native Terance Mann contributed to a momentum shift in the ‘Noles favor. This play began a 24-6 run to open up a fifteen point lead. Florida State moved the ball well which created open looks for a host of players, as six different players scored in these six minutes.
BC cut the deficit to ten at 46-36 to end the half with some free throws from Jordan Chatman and Steffon Mitchell but not before Ky Bowman and Wynston Tabbs missed the front end of each of their one-and-ones, reminding BC fans of the team’s free throw woes from previous losses.
The second half started with a 6-0 run by the Eagles led by a pair of Wynston Tabbs buckets. After two FSU free throws, the BC crowd, not too hindered by the noon tip-off or the slick, wintery conditions outside, really got into the game when BC’s veteran players began to take over.
Ky Bowman took advantage of an and-one opportunity at the 16:30 mark and then drilled a three 17 seconds later to tie the game at 48. Despite a TV timeout followed by a wide open dunk for Seminole sophomore Mfiondu Kabengele, the BC momentum would not be killed.
Senior Jordan Chatman opened up the lead to seven by hitting three consecutive treys. Ky Bowman then buried another three to give BC their largest lead of the game at 61-52. Chatman was not finished yet as he sank two more from beyond the arc, and even a missed three gave Ky Bowman a putback and-one to send Conte Forum into a frenzy.
Now down 14 with 7 minutes left, Florida State played some good defense to force turnovers and hold the Eagles to 1 for 7 from the field in the next six minutes. Mfiondu Kabengele was their main contributor in the second half by scoring in a variety of ways to finish with 22 off the bench.
A Terance Mann 3-pointer made the score 81-77 with 53 seconds to go, but Wynston Tabbs answered with a game-sealing three with 24 seconds left. FSU played the fouling game but only succeeded to add more points to Ky Bowman’s ending tally of 37.
BC shot the 3-ball better than they had all season at an astounding 61.9%, nearly double their season average. Both the Eagles (10-7) and Seminoles (13-5) are now 1-4 in ACC play, but it was good for BC to add this game to the résumé.
BC will have six days to prepare for a road test against a talented Wake Forest team before heading home for a high-profile northeast matchup against Syracuse.