Florida St. 104, Boston College 72
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, February 20, 2017
Where: Donald L. Tucker Civic Center, Tallahassee
TALLAHASSEE – Florida State got a much-needed bounce-back win Monday night — and in the process, its head coach hit a milestone.
Leonard Hamilton earned his 500th career victory — and 300th win in ACC play — following the No. 19 Seminoles’ 104-72 rout of Boston College at the Donald L. Tucker Center. The victory snapped a two-game losing streak and improved Florida State’s home record to 17-0 this season.
But Hamilton, who’s in his 15th season with the Seminoles and is the school’s all-time winningest coach, wasn’t up for much celebration of the accomplishment. After all, there are two straight road games looming for his team, which has struggled to a 2-5 record in conference play away from home — dropping every road game by double-digits.
“Had you not said that to me, I wouldn’t have even thought about it,” Hamilton said with a smile when asked by a reporter how the milestone felt. “I’ve had a great career. I’m one of the most blessed guys on the planet — growing up in Gastonia, N.C., to where I am now … it’s just the grace of God that I’ve been given these opportunities to work with so many great young men and be able to make a difference in their lives.
“That’s what my focus is. Whatever the number is, I’m grateful. Now I just want to go watch (film) of this game and get ready to finish out the season.”
After a loss just 48 hours ago at Pittsburgh– which held star guard Dwayne Bacon scoreless for the first time in his career — Florida State (22-6, 10-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) responded Monday by handing the struggling Eagles their 11th straight loss.
Bacon wouldn’t be denied this time, leading the Seminoles with 16 points and five rebounds. Bacon was not made available to the media after the game.
“(Bacon is) too good of a player to have bad back to back nights,” said Boston College coach Jim Christian, whose team fell to 0-7 on the road this year and remained in last place in the ACC following the loss. “So I knew that was coming.”
The Seminoles, whose bench outscored Boston College a staggering 59-2, also got a solid game from one of those backups when guard P.J. Savoy finished second on the team in scoring with 15 points and three steals.
All 13 bench players for Florida State scored Monday, and one of the starters revealed afterward that the reserves even have a nickname.
“We call them the Boom Squad,” said Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac, who added 14 points in the win.
Florida State beat the Eagles for the sixth straight time, but the latest win was very important for ACC tournament seeding: Florida State jumped from fifth in the ACC standings back to fourth.
Boston College (9-19, 2-13) fell to 1-6 all-time against Florida State in Tallahassee, despite a great game from guard Ky Bowman, who led all scorers with 24 points and 11 rebounds.
But even with all of Boston College’s struggles coming into Monday, count Bowman as one Eagles player who was surprised the night ended in such an ugly loss.
“It’s on us. We had two great days of practice, but then come out here and don’t play the way we practiced,” said the freshman, who is coming off his second huge game after scoring 29 points in last week’s loss to Notre Dame. “It’s tough. But we looking at this as a learning experience — not losses. We don’t take losses — just wins and learning.
“The fourth-leading ACC scorer, Boston College guard Jerome Robinson, added 21 points, and forward A.J. Turner scored 13 for the Eagles, who have now lost 13 of their last 14 games.
NOTES: The tip-off to the Florida State-Boston College game was delayed almost 10 minutes Monday night due to a malfunctioning shot clock on the South end of the Donald L. Tucker Center, which was the goal Boston College was shooting on. Officials eventually started the game and the P.A. announcer was tasked with calling out the time for the Eagles over the loudspeaker until the issue was fixed a few minutes into the game. But the fix was only momentary as the clock began malfunctioning again around the 12-minute mark and wasn’t fully repaired until halftime … Florida State leads the all-time series against Boston College 10-5. … Boston College guards Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman’s combined average of 35.3 points per game in ACC play ranks fifth among all backcourts in the major conferences. … Florida State’s last loss at home was Feb. 17, 2016, against Georgia Tech. … The Seminoles’ 55 first-half points marked Florida State’s second-highest scoring half against an ACC opponent this season. The Seminoles posted 58 points in the first half against Clemson. … The Eagles’ lone win in Tallahassee came in 2007, a 68-67 victory.