Managing to cut down the Cards
Seminoles net win despite early shooting woes
Miami’s Anthony Lawrence II gets his hand in the face of North Carolina’s Seventh Woods as Woods tries to shoot during the ACC game Saturday in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Hurricanes led late but wound up suffering an overtime loss.
TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said he hoped his team could learn from its mistakes while still managing to collect wins this season.
The No. 22 Seminoles lived up to those expectations Saturday at the Donald L. Tucker Center, overcoming a rough shooting performance against a top team to secure an 80-75 win over No. 16 Louisville in overtime.
Louisville (17-7) looked shaky to start the overtime period, with Jordan Nwora dribbling off his foot and Dwayne Sutton missing a jumper.
FSU (18-5) remained aggressive and got to the rim, drawing six fouls in overtime and quickly going on an 8-0 run.
Louisville eventually cut the lead to one after a threepoint play by Christen Cunningham, but Trent Forrest and MJ Walker’s four free throws in the last 30 seconds iced the game.
The Seminoles knocked down 11 of 12 free throws in overtime and Louisville head coach Chris Mack said afterward FSU “just wore us down.”
Mfiondu Kabengele led the Seminoles with 22 points and seven rebounds during a physical game that saw the redshirt sophomore absorb a lot of contact down low. Kabengele said the Seminoles welcomed the bruising matchup.
“It was great. We thrive on the physicality; we have very physical practices,” he said. “A team like that I recognize because Chris Mack and his former Xavier team were very physical, especially, I remember, in the [NCAA] tournament. So we were prepared for that and knew what they were going to do.”
Terance Mann finished Florida State's Mfiondu Kabengele celebrates after hitting a 3-pointer Saturday against No. 16 Louisville.
with 20 points, Forrest with
15 and five steals, and Walker chipped in 11 points
The Seminoles struggled again early on, shooting just
9 of 31 from the field and 3 of
13 from 3-point territory. They would pull that average up in the second half, shooting 12 of 24 overall and
4 of 10 from long range. The improved shooting helped FSU chip away at a
10-point lead the Cardinals built with about 10 minutes remaining in the game and tie the score at 63-63.
Hamilton said he felt FSU played better defense down the stretch. The Seminoles forced 23 Louisville turnovers and scored 32 points off them.
“It was one of those ball games that could’ve gone either way,” Hamilton said. “I thought in the second half we became a lot more aggressive on the defensive end and were able to force some turnovers that led to some opportunities that we were not getting in the first half.”
Mann said sticking to the game plan paid off as the Seminoles overcame their first-half shooting slump.
Tied at 65-65, Louisville missed a jumper, giving FSU one last chance to end the game. Phil Cofer grabbed the defensive rebound and, rather than wait for the timeout to be called, took it the down the court himself.
However, his long
3-pointer was off the mark.