Four straight games, four straight solid offensive performances. Though tonight it got off to a shaky start. The Seminoles struggled through a few early possessions and then Xavier Gibson got tee'd up for taunting after a dunk. He sat. Luke Loucks committed two silly fouls. He sat. The offensive kinks got worked out but the shots didn't fall. Still, Leonard Hamilton managed the first half like a coach who knew his team could put away Wake when they needed to. The starters sat. The defense stayed focused. FSU took a 6-point lead, 29-23, in a 31 possession half.
Then the 2nd half started and the Noles completely dominated, scoring 46 points in 32 possessions. The final was 75-52.
What was the difference? Besides having a full compliment of players it took until the 2nd half for the Seminoles to be able to exploit Wake's defensive strategy. Wake wasn't double-teaming the post, but the Noles played the 1st half as if they were. Early in the 2nd half FSU cleared out and allowed Xavier Gibson to go one on one with anyone who would guard him. That didn't last. Wake went to a zone. Michael Snaer made sure that didn't last. Back to man-to-man and FSU attacked along the baseline. They attacked over the top. It was a clinic, and hopefully you tuned in long enough to watch it. For the game the Noles scored 1.19 per possession, which means they've scored at least 1.13 in each of the past four games. The last time FSU could make that claim? 2006.
Michael Snaer scored 18 points (on 9 shots!), Okaro White added 11, Xavier Gibson scored 10 and Bernard James had 7 points and 9 rebounds. FSU - the leading 3-pt team in conference-only games (think about that) - converted 8-16 from beyond the arc, led by Snaer's perfect 4-4.
Now the Noles get a week off before the friendly confines of a home game. A week from today, Georgia Tech at the Tucker Center. Be there.