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The Three-Pointer: BC suffers a frustrating loss

01.30.10 at 9:57 pm ET
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Conte Forum was a safe-haven for Boston College when the Florida State Seminoles would invade the Heights, but after Saturday that is no more. Derwin Kitchen‘€™s late 3-pointer and clutch free throw shooting from Kitchen and Michael Snaer down the stretch helped the Seminoles earn a 61-57 victory, their first in four attempts on the Eagles’ home floor.

With 1:16 left in the game, Ryan Reid was fouled by Cortney Dunn on the in-bounds play, giving Reid a chance to tie it up at 54. After the game, Eagles coach Al Skinner was upset with the call on Dunn.

‘€œPlayers should decide the game. I’€™m not sure if that was the case,’€ said Skinner, whose team fell to 3-5 in ACC play. ‘€œWhen you put someone on the line on an out-of-bounds play for a bump as physical as that game was, that’€™s unfortunate.’€

On the next possession, a turnover by the Eagles led to a break by the Seminoles, who moved the ball well until Snaer found Kitchen open. The junior guard didn’€™t miss from beyond the arc.

A late 3-pointer by Reggie Jackson (eight points) with 8.5 seconds left gave the Eagles a glimmer of hope, but Kitchen’€™s two free throws snuffed any visions of a BC comeback.

The Eagles held a 4-1 (3-0 at home) advantage over FSU in their brief head-to-head history, but all the games either came down to a late buzzer-beater (see: Sean Marshall’€™s 3-pointer as time expired in 2006) or were decided by five points or less.

‘€œWhen you go back and look at the games, they were all on the last possession,’€ said Seminoles’€™ head coach Leonard Hamilton. ‘€œWhen you go back and look at how they made those baskets, sometimes as a coach you just have to say they made a tough shot.’€

This time however, it was the Seminoles coming through when it mattered most. And so, the Eagles squandered a golden opportunity to get back to .500 in the ACC and maneuver up the ranks in the league. Now, they are left to wait a week before taking on Duke next Saturday at home.

Here are three things to consider from Saturday’€™s loss:

THE REFS WERE NOT AMONG THE CONTE CRAZIES

Though studies — including this one — have shown that college referees tend to exhibit a home-court bias in calling games, that was certainly not the case on Saturday. The Eagles only made it to the line four times in the contest, a new school record that surpassed a five free-throw attempt night on Feb. 28, 1999 in a 78-59 loss to Notre Dame, Skinner’€™s second season at the helm.

Rakim Sanders and Jackson were the only players to get to the line, as each attempted a pair of free throws. FSU, meanwhile, finished the night 10-16 from the stripe.

‘€œLooking at the stat sheet and we only shoot four free throws for a whole game that’€™s a little unusual in a college basketball game, not to go to the free throw line at all,’€ said Skinner.

The infrequency of foul calls thus left Skinner all the more perplexed at the pivotal whistle on an in-bounds play. Skinner said he was confused why the call against Dunn occurred given the nature of the physical play that was had gone on for the rest of the game.

‘€œThat’€™s why it makes that foul that occurred a really pretty difficult call,’€ he said.

DUNN IS BECOMING A DEFENSIVE PRESENCE

The Seminoles display a large front court that out-sized BC at virtually ever position. Solomon Alabi (7-foot-1), Xavier Gibson (6-foot-11) and even Chris Singleton (6-foot-9) posed match-up problems. That led Skinner to turn to Dunn off the bench.

Dunn played 23 minutes on Saturday and has seen the floor quite a bit over the last month. He has now averaged 22.5 games over his last four contests, his most minutes over a four-game stretch in his BC career.

‘€œWe needed a defensive presence and he’€™s by far our best defensive center from that standpoint,’€ said Skinner. ‘€œ(Alabi) scored some baskets. We got to go with what is best for us.’€

Alabi finished with 16 points on the night, over his average of 13.7 on the season, but Dunn came up with a big block on Alabi that preserved a 54-53 lead for the Eagles at the time.

FOOTWEAR FOR AWARENESS

As part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend, both coaching staffs in Saturday’€™s game donned white sneakers instead of their usual dress shoes to help raise awareness for cancer. Hamilton’€™s brother is battling stage 4 cancer and he believes every person in this country knows someone affected by the disease.

‘€œThis affects all of our lives, so just to bring awareness and hopefully contribute in some way to that fight,’€ he said after the win. ‘€œI’€™m looking forward to the day that we have a cure. I’€™m sure we have some of the greatest minds that we can find working on it and this is our way of saying we need help, please contribute to research.’€

Read More: al skinner, cortney dunn, derwin kitchen, Florida State
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