Senior Bernard James hobbled around the court for 15 minutes against Jacksonville on Friday, but tonight his ankle looked fine and what projects as a big season for him began to take shape. Though the Noles struggled to get him the ball in the first half, they adjusted at the half to how UCF was rotating on the interior and got it to him in position to score in the 2nd half. An 8 point halftime lead turned into a 22 point FSU rout. James finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks, and FSU beat a solid Central Florida team 73-50.
After giving up way too many easy baskets against Jacksonville, Leonard Hamilton promised the fans they'd get a better effort tonight, and he wasn't lying. FSU limited UCF to just 0.73 points per possession, mainly by holding the Knights to 20% shooting on 30 3-pt attempts. As stated in the preview the goal for tonight was holding a good UCF offense to under 0.95 points per possession. Goal accomplished.
Offensively, it was a different story. The Seminoles were plagued by the turnover coughing it up 19 times (27.9% of their trips). Compounding this was FSU only converting 3 of 14 3s (21.4%) and 14 of 25 FTs (56%). To their credit they shot 61% inside the arc, and rebounded 49% of their own misses. For the night the Noles scored 1.07 points per possession, which was below the stated goal of 1.125. Michael Snaer finished with an inefficient 15 points (on 15 shots - most of the success in the 2nd half), and Xavier Gibson added 12 points and 7 rebounds.
The Noles now have a quick turnaround and face a terrible Stetson team on Wednesday night.