Boston College beats Florida Atlantic 68-62

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BOSTON (AP)—Tyrese Rice returned from a one-game suspension to score 21 points, eight during a 21-5 second-half run as Boston College took the lead and beat Florida Atlantic 68-62 on Monday night.

Rice had nine assists and Shamari Spears, who was also suspended for playing in an unsanctioned offseason game, had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Eagles (2-0) in his season debut.

Carderro Nwoji scored 15 points, Paul Graham III had 14 and Carlos Monroe had eight rebounds for Florida Atlantic. The Owls (0-2) took a lead into the second half before BC scored 14 of 15 points, thanks in part to a technical foul against coach Rex Walters.

BC has won at least 20 games in six of the last seven seasons, but only five players return from the team that went 21-12 last season to poke its way into the AP’s top 15 and advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Rice and Spears are back, but it took them one extra game to return to the court because of an NCAA violation.

Florida Atlantic went up 20-19 with over 8 minutes left in the first half and held onto the lead until Rakim Sanders followed up his steal with a breakaway layup that made it 44-43 with 13:37 left. The Owls scored 10 of the next 11 points, with Graham hitting a 3-pointer that made it 53-45.

But BC went on a 14-1 run, getting all but two of the points from Rice or Spears. Rice followed two free throws with a 3-pointer to make it 53-50 and then, after Rice and Paris each missed a 3-point attempt, Spears scored on a putback and drew the foul to tie it 53-all with 6:11 left.

Xavier Perkins made one of two free throws, but Spears scored on an assist from Rice to give BC the lead, and with 4:15 left Walters was called for a technical foul for complaining on the sideline. Rice hit both free throws to give the Eagles a three-point lead, then Corey Raji scored on a putback to make it 59-54.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Florida Atlantic
C. Nwoji C. Nwoji
5-9,  15 Pts
3 Rebs, 2 Assists
 Boston Coll.
T. Rice T. Rice
5-13,  21 Pts
4 Rebs, 9 Assists

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