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February 24, 2009

Florida State falls short at Boston College

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.

"In the end they made some tough shots and we just didn't make them on the other end," Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton said. "When you are playing teams with a kid like Rice, if you don't have a substantial lead going down the stretch, guys as talented as he is will step up. I thought Trapani hit some real big shots in critical parts of the game where we lost him on a couple pick-and-pops."

It was the Eagles (20-9, 8-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) third win this season against one of the conference's top teams. 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.

Rice, who finished with just 11 points, was scoreless in the first half, but hit his three-pointer as the Eagles were clinging to a one-point lead. Rakim Sanders added 16 points and nine rebounds for Boston College.

Toney Douglas led the Seminoles (21-7, 8-5) with 19 points, but committed six of their 18 turnovers.

"That is just a lack of focus," Hamilton said of the turnovers. "This was a team that didn't press us and we still turned the ball over 18 times. I look at the kind of turnovers that we made. A lot of them were self-inflicted."

Solomon Alabi had 16 points and seven rebounds. Derwin Kitchen added 14 points as well in the losing effort.

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.

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 turned around on the other end.

Rice missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and the Eagles missed a pair of shots after offensive rebounds.

Douglas, who hadn't committed a turnover in nearly 3 1/2 games entering the contest—his last coming 8:01 into the second half against Virginia on Feb. 10 — had four in an opening half which saw both teams best players struggle.

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.

They will next play on Saturday when they host Clemson at 2:00 p.m.

"Thank goodness we have three more games," Hamilton said. "What we have to do is learn from this game and put it behind us. We still have three more opportunities to make sure that we are mentally and emotionally ready to play."

AP contributed to this story


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