In their final out of conference game, the Florida State Seminoles entered their match up with the Islanders of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as one of the top defensive teams in the country. Tonight proved to be more of the same as the Seminoles cruised to a 94-54 victory, holding the Islanders to a FG% of only 29.1%. This is the fourth time this year that Florida State has held its opponent to a FG% of 30% or less. The Seminoles jumped out to a 16-2 lead to start the game. The Islanders closed the gap to 10 with 9:44 to go in the first half and it was at that point that the Seminoles decided enough was enough and went on to a 30 point victory. It didn't help that Texas A&M-CC only shot 15% from behind the arc, making it extremely difficult to play catch up.
Devidas Dulkys led the way again for the Seminoles with 17 points, going 5-9 from beyond the arc. He drained a couple of early threes, along with Chris Singleton, to build the early lead for the Seminoles. Singleton also finished with a nice game scoring 12 points with seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block. He was credited for one turnover, a significant improvement from his seven against Alabama A&M. Luke Loucks and Jordan DeMercy each scored 10 points off the bench for Leonard Hamilton's squad. Michael Snaer also contributed with 8 points in only 17 minutes of play with four assists and four steals. Derwin Kitchen again appeared to be focusing on distributing the ball as he only took four shots on the night. He had four assists and one steal.
As a team, the Seminoles shot 57.6% from the floor, 50% from behind the arc and were 14-20 from the free throw line. Alabi and Gibson were perfect from the FT line. In addition to the number of points scored and the continued defensive presence, Seminole fans should be happy that the team only turned the ball over 11 times tonight, which is a TO% of 15%, the lowest total of the year. They also had 24 assists, the second highest total of the season behind the 28 at the Tennessee-Martin game. The Seminoles also matched their season high of 13 steals tonight. Clearly, Texas A&M-CC is not Duke. But, a 15% TO% is a significant improvement and demonstrates that this team can stay focused and limit the mistakes. This is especially important as the Seminoles now head into the remainder of ACC conference play.
According to Ken Pomeroy, the Seminoles, statistically, have the best defense in the ACC and the worst offense and are the fifth best team in the ACC. Florida State will open conference play against Maryland on Sunday evening and then return to the Tucker Center for three games in a row against NC State, Virginia Tech and then a rematch with Georgia Tech. The Seminoles are in a good position to make another strong run through the ACC this year. While tonight's win was expected, it was a solid victory heading into what will be exclusively conference play.