TALLAHASSEE — It was the most complete game the Florida State Seminoles have played this calendar year.
Following six straight weeks of mounting frustration and losses that were piling even higher, Saturday afternoon's performance inside the Donald L. Tucker Center was one the Seminoles had been desperately seeking.
For once, FSU stayed out of foul trouble. The Seminoles kept their turnovers down. They even accomplished the rare feat — for them — of leading at halftime.
But most important, they won. And this time, they didn't need a buzzer-beater to do it.
Claiming a 69-66 victory over visiting Boston College Saturday, FSU responded adequately to Wednesday night's six-point loss to rival Miami. The win put the Seminoles back at .500 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, and has them hoping it kick starts a run that will cover the remaining six games on the regular season schedule.
"A lot of guys came in and made some good plays for us," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "I'm somewhat encouraged because we've probably been a little bit more inconsistent than I'd like for us to be throughout the year."
Hamilton went on to add that as far as the Seminoles (14-11, 6-6 ACC) were concerned, the game had many heroes. He was right.
There was true freshman Devon Bookert, playing a career-high 31 minutes while enjoying just his second start of the season. In those 31 minutes, the point guard had a career-best eight assists and didn't turn the ball over. He also had five points that included a pair of free throws with 22 seconds remaining that extended a Seminoles lead to four points.
"I always thought Devon was the true point guard of the team," junior forward Okaro White said. "He showed what he was showing all summer, and I believe this is a big confidence booster for him."
In addition to Bookert, guard Michael Snaer had a game-high 21 points to go along with six rebounds. Okaro White finished with 13 points and six rebounds. Center Kiel Turpin came off the bench to add a pair of blocks that helped show off a more aggressive and physically imposing second-half FSU defense.
"When we really needed some stops, they were all in [good] stances, we were really moving our feet, we were containing the dribble, we were contesting shots," Hamilton said. "I did feel that we raised our level of defensive focus and turned it up a notch. We haven't always done that this year, but it just shows that the team is maturing."
The Seminoles — who arrived at the arena for the noon tipoff at 7:30 a.m., 30 minutes earlier than their arrival for last week's noon game at Wake Forest — needed a late missed shot in order to solidify the win.
With the game clock ticking inside its final second and Boston College (11-14, 3-9) possessing the ball down three, Eagles forward Ryan Anderson took a wide open shot that would have sent the game to overtime.
As it descended toward the hoop, the 3-point attempt hit the front of the rim and fell short as the horn sounded, leaving Anderson half-posing with his arm still in the air and his head lowered in dejection. The Seminoles know all about buzzer-beating attempts. Two of their previous three wins were decided by them.
"I was just praying it wasn't going in," said Bookert, the closest defender to the open Anderson. "I knew it would have been my fault if it would have went in."
It would have been the lone stain on his heroic Saturday.