BOSTON (AP) Florida State seemed to be letting struggling Boston College hang around a little too long in the first half.
But back-to-back dunks by Jarquez Smith got the Seminoles rolling.
Malik Beasley scored 22 points, Smith had 13 with nine boards and Florida State rebounded from a two-game skid with a 72-62 win over Boston College on Tuesday night, sending the Eagles to their seventh straight loss.
”I think it was a big boost for the other guys,” Smith said of his two dunks under a minute apart during a 13-5 run late in the first half that jumpstarted Florida State.
”I think we got down in energy and me having those put-backs brought life to the other players,” he said. ”It was a big impact in the first half and coming into the second half.”
Neither team held more than a two-possession lead from the opening 3 1/2 minutes until Florida State closed the final 4:25 of the half with the spree. Smith had eight points, with three consecutive baskets coming off offensive rebounds.
After halftime, Florida State continued to go inside, scoring on its first four possessions in an 8-0 run, turning a five-point halftime lead to 45-32 on Montay Brandon’s baseline driving basket.
”We got off to a good start and they were playing catch-up from there,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said.
Dwayne Bacon added 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Seminoles (13-7, 3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference). Florida State outrebounded Boston College 46-28, owning a 16-6 edge on offensive rebounds.
”We’ve lost games because we weren’t able to get to the offensive board and to the foul line,” Hamilton said. ”Hopefully this is something we can continually execute.”
The Seminoles went 21 for 25 from the free throw line.
Eli Carter paced the Eagles (7-13, 0-7) with 16 points and eight assists, and Jerome Robinson had 15 points. Boston College lost its previous six conference games by an average of 21.8 points, and all by 14 points or more.
BC coach Jim Christian knew Florida State’s second-half start was the difference.
”Very frustrating because they were on ball-screen plays and transition,” he said. ”We talked about it (at halftime) `If you didn’t play well in the first 20 minutes, you’ve got to change your game. We’re right there.”’
BC cut it to 52-48 on Sammy Barnes-Thompkins’ 3-pointer from the left corner with just under nine minutes to play, but Florida State sealed it by scoring 12 of the next 16 points. Beasley and Devon Bookert each hit 3s in the game-breaking run.
The Seminoles shot just 40 percent in the first half, but dominated the Eagles on the glass to pull to a 37-32 edge at intermission. Florida State owned a 23-11 rebounding edge, collecting 10 on the offensive end.
BC used a half-court trapping defense that, at times, seemed to fluster the Seminoles in the opening half, keeping the game close.
Florida State: The Seminoles play consecutive home games for the first time since mid-December when they host Clemson and North Carolina State in their next two. . Hamilton’s next win will be his 250th with FSU. He already owns the most in school history.
Boston College: The Eagles don’t play at home again until they face No. 2 North Carolina on February 9. They play three straight ranked teams: NC, No. 11 Virginia and 16th-ranked Louisville before returning to Conte Forum. . Robinson took a hard fall after a dunk with three minutes left, but walked to the bench after being on the floor for a bit.
BRING YOU OWN ENERGY
Beasley could sense the sparse crowd might dampen his team’s enthusiasm so he decided to get things going on his own.
”When we realized there weren’t many fans, I had a different mindset and started clapping and dancing more to get the energy going,” he said.
The announced attendance was 2,074.
Florida State: Hosts Clemson on Saturday.
Boston College: At second-ranked North Carolina on Saturday.