Aaron Thomas, Okaro White team up to lead FSU past Boston College

Florida State Seminoles center Boris Bojanovsky (15) and guard Devon Bookert (1) celebrate during the second half.

Mark L. Baer/Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

BOSTON (AP) — Aaron Thomas scored 26 points, Okaro White 24 and Florida State pulled out a much-needed 74-70 win over Boston College on Tuesday night.

The Seminoles (18-11, 9-8 ACC) posted their third straight victory in their chase for an NCAA tournament berth.

Olivier Hanlan led Boston College (8-22, 4-13) with 20 points, but had a key turnover and missed a potential tying 3-point shot in the closing seconds.

Patrick Heckmann added 13 points and Joe Rahon, who also missed a 3 in the final seconds, had 11 for the Eagles, who have lost 11 of 14.

White hit a turnaround in the lane for the 24th and final lead change of the night, pushing the Seminoles ahead 69-68 with 1:31 to play. After Heckmann lost control of a pass for a turnover, Devon Bookert nailed the second of two free throws, making it 70-68 with 24 seconds left.

Following a BC timeout, Hanlan took his eye of an inbounds pass and it went out of bounds off his hip. But Bookert missed the second of two from the line.

Box score

BC had a shot to tie it in the closing seconds, but Rahon and Hanlan both front-rimmed 3s and Boris Bojanovsky sealed it with one free throw.

In a game filled with long possessions, Ryan Anderson’s put-back of Heckmann’s missed 3 had given Boston College a 68-67 lead with just over 2 minutes to play.

Thomas’ shot-clock beating fallaway from the right baseline had pushed Florida State ahead 67-66 with 2 1/2 minutes left after Hanlan’s free throw snapped a tie.

The lead changed hands 12 times in the initial 10 minutes of the second half before Rahon’s two free throws retied it at 55 with 8:02 to play. After a Florida State miss, Hanlan had a driving one-handed bank shot, pushing BC back in front on the next possession.

Heckmann’s 3 right in front of BC’s bench gave the Eagles a 60-55 edge, the largest lead of the game for either team. But the Seminoles scored seven of the next nine points, tying it at 62 with 5:03 left.

The teams were tied at 33 at halftime.

Neither team held more than a four-point lead in a first half that saw a contrast of styles. The smaller Eagles played mostly zone and had to rely on their 3-point shooting to stay close, nailing 7 of 16 from beyond the arc. After settling for jumpers in the opening minutes of the game, the Seminoles, who played man-to-man, started to get the ball inside and converted a handful of shots in the lane.

On most of their possessions, the Eagles tried to slow the game down and ran the shot clock into single digits.

There was a stretch of nearly 3 minutes when both teams went scoreless.

With BC’s students on spring break, the crowd was much smaller than normal. It also didn’t help that the game tipped off just after 9 P.M. for national TV.

The Seminoles close the regular season at home, hosting struggling No. 7 Syracuse on Sunday. BC travels to North Carolina State for its finale, also Sunday.